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Clayton neighborhood regains power, hundreds still in the dark

Progress Energy restored power Monday afternoon to a Clayton neighborhood that had been without power for more than a day.

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CLAYTON, N.C. — Progress Energy restored power Monday afternoon to a Clayton neighborhood that had been without power for more than a day.

Power went out early Sunday in the Summer Place neighborhood, and Progress Energy crews got electricity back to the neighborhood shortly after noon Monday.

"We assumed that we'd have power by (Sunday) evening, and that didn't happen," resident Shirley Metera said.

She and her husband wore coats inside their house, where the gas fireplace provided the only heat. They spent the night with relatives in Garner.

Neighbor Dylan Paonessa said his family pulled out heavy-duty sleeping bags Sunday night, and breakfast Monday was Pop-Tarts on the grill. Although the boy characterized the experience as an adventure, he said the chilly conditions were better suited for the family's Siberian husky, Cody.

"We can't wait to get warmed up and not wear coats in the house and maybe sleep in our regular beds," said Dylan's mother, Cherie Paonessa.

Progress Energy officials said crews restored service to more than 260,000 customers across the Carolinas between late Saturday and Monday morning. The Raleigh-based utility continued to have scattered outages Monday evening that affected about 265 customers across the Triangle.

The hardest-hit regions where crews continued to work Monday included Zebulon, Selma, Maxton, Elizabethtown, Fairmont and Clinton, the company said. More than 500 line and tree workers and support teams were on duty Monday.

Still, Robert Metera expressed frustration with Progress Energy's customer service during the 30-hour outage. He and his neighbors could get only a recording when they called the utility, and the message advised them to check a website for updates.

"The computer's out. You have no power. I mean, it's kind of ridiculous," he said. "I don't say they should have it fixed, but they should have some information telling us, giving us some type of information."

About 750 Duke Energy customers were without power Monday night. The Durham-based utility reported that outages were highest in Durham, Henderson, Catawba and Jackson counties.

Utility officials said strong winds Monday and Tuesday had the potential to blow snow-laden trees and limbs into power lines, creating new outages. Customers who lose power are advised to call their utility's toll-free number to report the outage, downed power lines or other safety hazards.

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Cullen Browder, Reporter
Keith Baker, Photographer
Matthew Burns, Web Editor
Bridget Whelan, Web Editor

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