Duke Energy hopes to have 98 percent of blackouts fixed by midnight

From staff reportsMarch 11, 2014 

— Duke Energy hopes to have 98 percent of customers blacked out by last week's ice storm back online by midnight Tuesday, the company said.

By mid-morning Tuesday, the utility’s map showed about 14,600 customers were still offline in the five hardest-hit counties: Orange, Alamance, Guilford, Davidson and Randolph.

Orange was in the best shape, with 396 outages.

Guilford had about 6,000 customers still out and Alamance about 5,800.

Monday night, the utility had said about 34,000 customers did not have power.

Duke said it had restored power to all schools in its service area. Power problems contributed to closings Monday for Orange County and Alamance-Burlington schools.

Alamance-Burlington remained closed for classes Tuesday because of downed and low-hanging power lines and downed trees on roads, the district said on its website.

Officials said the declaration of a state of emergency in the county exempted students from having to make up days missed last Friday, Saturday (planned to have been a makeup day from an earlier closing), Monday and Tuesday.

Duke said it had about 4,400 extra workers from its Florida and Midwest service areas helping in North Carolina, and other utilities also had crews working on Duke lines.

Utilities usually find the last customers hardest to bring back online. Crews focus first on major disruptions whose repair will restore large numbers of customers, then work to the neighborhood and street levels.

After that, they attack problems that are affecting only one customer, though it may take as much work clearing downed trees and stringing wire for a single line as it did for a line that serves numerous customers.

 

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