Hundreds of power outages straddle U.S. 64

Posted February 26, 2015
Updated February 27, 2015

— Power crews worked into the night Thursday to restore heat and electricity knocked out by heavy snow that built up on lines across North Carolina as the result of the most recent snowstorm.

By down on Friday, the number of customers without power was down from more than 200,000 to about 30,000. The greatest number of outages remained along a corridor defined by U.S. Highway 64 from Pittsboro to Rocky Mount.

Central North Carolina received anywhere from 8 inches in Oxford to three inches in Raleigh and rain in Fayetteville early Thursday morning.

As of 6:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 11,000 homes were without power in Wake County, according to Duke Energy. In Durham County, about 5,000 were in the dark. Nash County reported about 3,000 power outages.

Statewide, power outages peaked at 224,000, with Durham and Wake counties being the hardest hit, the company said.

"We've made good progress today, and the additional resources moving into the area will help our momentum," said Brett Carter, senior vice president of Duke Energy Carolinas Delivery Operations, in a statement. "Customers should still be wary of downed or sagging power lines – and be careful where power crews are working."

A large pine tree knocked out power to part of Raleigh's Brookhaven neighborhood for more than 16 hours. Power was restored in the area by 9 p.m. Thursday.

Getting the power back on has been challenging for Duke Energy workers.

"A lot of walking," said utility worker Scott Riley. "We had to park at the top of hills and just get out and walk."

The snow also sent tree limbs crashing onto homes, yards and streets across the region, including Kathryn Jones' garage and back fence.

"They looked like grenades hanging," the Elm City resident said of the snow. "They were just like heavy in the shape of a grenade."

Shelters were set up across the region by the American Red Cross, including one at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, where Barbara Latta and her husband spent Thursday night.

"We are staying here because we were just frozen,” she said. “We had been cold since 3 o’clock this morning. And no heat, and no hot water, and no nothing. So we decided to find some alternative to staying cold all night."

Temperatures will reach the lower 40s on Friday and between the mid-30s and low 40s for the weekend.

But things will warm up. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-60s Wednesday and Thursday.

“But don’t get used to it,” Fishel said.


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