CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — December's ice storm left more than one million people in the dark for days. A survey from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sheds some light on how the storm affected people and businesses in the state.
Investigators telephoned 457 households in the 36 counties included in North Carolina's application for federal disaster relief to assess the impact of the ice storm.
The survey suggests hundreds of offices were closed by the storm, which kept most people from working. According to the survey, even when offices were open, many employees said they could not physically get to work because of downed trees and power lines.
The survey found that 78 percent of all households in the area lost power, while 58 percent lost heat. The study shows 28 percent lost phone service, and 19 percent had no water.
Most people had an opinion on how to plan for the next storm. Eight out of 10 people support trimming trees further from power lines and 47 percent were willing to pay extra on their monthly bill to bury power lines.