Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan vented some frustration at Duke Energy on Saturday, tweeting “where are you?” at the utility.
Guilford and other northern Piedmont counties were among the areas hit the hardest as Tropical Storm Michael sped across North Carolina on Thursday, according to Duke Energy. Duke said it had restored power to more than 900,000 customers in the Carolinas, and it was still reporting about 141,000 outages in North Carolina as of 6 p.m. Saturday.
In a tweet, Vaughan said she “saw city workers and contractors working hard to remove trees and haul away storm debris” as she drove around her city for two hours, but that she “only saw 2 areas where actual utility work was being done.”
“@DukeEnergy where are you? We need help,” the tweet said.
The tweet set off a discussion between Vaughan, a Duke spokesman and others.
Duke Energy was the first to respond, telling the mayor it has “more than 2,000 workers in the Triad, with more on the way.”
“You can’t always see the work from the road given the extensive damage & hard to reach locations,” Duke tweeted.
Vaughan replied, “The Triad is a very large area,” and asked for information specific to Greensboro and Guilford County.
Duke grid specialist Jeff Brooks posted a photo of a crew he said was working on a repair near the city’s arboretum. But Vaughan stuck to her point, saying “there is a lack of basic information.”
Others who joined the thread had split opinions of the mayor’s inquiry.
One person commented that “a mayor should use social media to bring her city together not use it to bash hard working employees at Duke Energy.”
Vaughan replied, “We appreciate the hard working men and women of @DukeEnergy. Their work during our recent tornado was outstanding. As the Mayor of the third largest city in NC our residents look to me for answers and social media can help drive corporate accountability.”