Local News

Thousands Still Without Power in Triangle Area After Ice Storm

Posted December 25, 1998

— With power crews working feverishly to restore power after a two-day ice storm, about 13,000 CP&L customers were still in the dark in the WRAL-TV5 viewing area.

Less than 200 Duke power customers in Durham are still waiting for power, as are about 200 Duke customers in Chapel Hill. About 1,000 North Carolina Electric customers are still off line.

A winter weather advisory for counties east of the Triangle was scheduled to expire at 11 a.m. Saturday. Freezing rain was being reported at 7 a.m. in Goldsboro and Wilson.

Although some icy spots were causing accidents on Interstate 95 in Johnston County and U.S. 70 in Wake County, most area roadways are dry. Even so, authorities advised motorists to use care, especially on bridges.

The forecast calls for warmer weather Sunday, with sunny skies and a high of 50 in the Triangle. Temperatures should stay above freezing through Wednesday.

For power crews, the past two days have been frustrating. Mark Whitfield of CP&L had to go up in his bucket twice Christmas Day to fix the same fuse on one power line.

"It'll hold for 5 to 10 minutes and then, when the heat comes on, it will burn too much for that fuse," Whitfield said.

Matt Follman and Debbie Kaufman are tired of waiting. They've had all of the dark and cold they can take. For two days, they've watched the Christmas lights twinkle and street lights glow at the front of their apartment complex, but at the back of the complex in their building, the only light they had to live by was moonlight.

"I've called CP&L five times," Follman said. "I think we've been forgotten."

CP&L says nearly 97 percent of its customers are back online. Customers who live in rural areas can expect to have their power back by tonight.

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