Christmas Eve power outage costs time, money at Crabtree Mall

Posted December 24, 2014

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— Last-minute shoppers in Raleigh were plunged into darkness for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon when Crabtree Valley Mall lost power just after 3 p.m.

"Everything just shut down," said shopper Brenda Haitema.

Shopkeepers operated with flashlights and navigated by the limited light from skylights, but many customers chose to leave the mall, which remained open.

Security officers escorted shoppers to a crowded parking lot, where a mall spokeswoman said heavy traffic proved to be the worst result of the outage.

Haitema was willing to wait.

"(I'm) waiting to see if the power comes back on. If not we will probably head to Brier Creek," she said.

Her patience was rewarded after about 75 minutes.

Duke Energy Progress reported a transmission line outage affecting a peak of about 20,000 customers in northwest Raleigh, including the mall and Rex Hospital.

During the outage, Raleigh police were deployed to direct traffic at busy intersections.

The mall could not estimate the loss of business from the outage, saying that stores report their revenues on a monthly basis.

Lights had flickered at the mall earlier in the day, shoppers said. A utility spokesman attributed that to a tree that fell on a power line at Lead Mine Road and said the two incidents were unrelated.


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