Local News

Fayetteville Utility Warns Residents to be Ready for Y2K

Posted November 9, 1999

— Most of us take electricity for granted, but one local power company is warning its customers to be prepared for the worst when the clock strikes midnight this New Year's Eve.

Fayetteville's Public Works Commission is asking residents to prepare for the new year as if a hurricane were approaching, and the request is creating a storm of reaction.

Ron Taylor needs electricity for almost everything he does both at work and home, and he never thought Y2K might leave him powerless.

"That really surprises me. It's been my impression that all these Y2K bugs have been worked out of the system years and years ago," Taylor says.

Sharon Johnson-Harris and her children say a power outage will not leave them in the dark.

"I keep candles and flashlights because of the storms and all," Johnson-Harris says. "If the lights go off and it gets dark, I'm going to deal with it."

The PWC says residents should be ready with:

  • 7 gallons of water per person
  • a battery-operated TV or radio
  • flashlights
  • batteries
  • non-perishable foodPublic works leaders are taking the threat so seriously that they are calling in more than 100 workers on the holiday. The extra workers will be waiting in the emergency dispatch room, ready for anything.

    "You may lose power depending on where you are. I think if you take that approach you'll be safe. It's just like insurance. You never know when you're going to need it," says PWC Risk Manager Ike Copeland.

    The PWC says it does not believe anyone will lose power; they just want customers to be prepared for whatever happens. They say there may be people who cut off others' power to create chaos.

    Other area power companies say they are ready for Y2K as well.CP&L,Duke Powerand North Carolina Power all say they do not expect any major outages as a result of the possible computer bug. But all three companies do plan to have extra workers on hand on New Year's Eve, just in case.

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