Johnston County

Duke Energy says equipment problem caused Johnston County power outage

The approximate area of the New Year’s Day power outage in central Johnston County.
The approximate area of the New Year’s Day power outage in central Johnston County. Duke Energy

More than 2,500 homes and businesses in Johnston County began New Year’s Day without power.

Duke Energy says the outage was first reported about 3:30 a.m. and occurred because a conductor failed in the Smithfield area because of the high demand placed on it by cold weather

Company spokeswoman Tammie McGee said higher-than-normal demand during cold weather can lead to power outages when overworked equipment fails.

At its peak, the outage affected 2,526 customers from Willow Springs to near Selma, including parts of Smithfield, according to the company. The town of Smithfield, which operates a municipal power system, worked with Duke to get lights back on.

Duke Energy had said that customers would have their power back by 1 p.m. By then, power had been restored to about 1,500 customers, but another 1,000 were still waiting, in the area around Polenta Road. All of them had electricity by about 3:30 p.m., according to the company’s outage map.

Morning temperatures bottomed out in the teens and did not rise above freezing on Monday.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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