Thousands of people remain without electricity, cleaning until the last days after bad weather :: WRAL.com
Raleigh, North Carolina – A band of severe thunderstorms downed trees and knocked out power to thousands of people in the Triangle on Friday evening.
Residents went to bed Friday night without power in Wake and Durham counties. Many of these same families woke up this morning still without electricity.
Saturday morning, more than 40,000 people in the Raleigh area woke up without power. While Duke Energy estimates power will be restored to most customers on Saturday, some customers in areas like Knightdale said Duke Energy told them their power would not be used until Sunday evening.
By Saturday afternoon, the number of customers without power in the Raleigh area had fallen to just under 20,000.
About 2,800 were still without power around 9 a.m. Sunday.
Some residents told WRAL News they had been without power for more than 12 hours.
Jeff Brooks of Duke Energy said the Triangle was hit harder by Friday’s storms than many realize.
“It’s very much like the hurricane-level damage we’re seeing,” Brooks said.
Duke Energy said in a statement posted on its website around 7:30 a.m.:
“Crews have been working through the night carrying out repairs and further assessing the damage from Friday’s severe storms. Additional workers and tree crews from other areas are arriving to help our hardest hit communities. drier conditions in the forecast, we expect many customers to have service restored today; however, in areas where the damage is more isolated and severe, it may take longer for everyone to recover time. Updated estimates will be provided as we progress. We greatly appreciate your patience.”
The outages were widespread and not concentrated in a single area of Wake County. For the most part, however, the outages occurred in the southern part of Wake County and northern Raleigh was spared.
Jelisa Miller, who lives in southeast Raleigh, lost power at 6 p.m. and was still without power at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“It’s very disheartening, to say the least,” she said. “Nearly $400 worth of spoiled frozen food and meat, delayed work and house maintenance, all in soaring summer temperatures.”
Miller said it’s not the first time Duke Energy has been slow to respond in its neighborhood.
“My neighborhood was also affected during the last storm on May 27, where my house was without power for nearly 16 hours for the same reason,” she said.
Miller spends a lot more time in his vehicle.
“It’s really heavy in the house and I can’t,” Miller said. “I have no way to charge my phone.”
She said she was just happy the temperatures weren’t as high as they have been for the past few days.
“I would be a puddle on the floor,” Miller said.
Select Wake County customers, including areas of Knightdale, have been advised by Duke Energy that their estimated time for restoration will be Sunday evening at 11 p.m. Others in Johnston County and Nash County said they were told similar wait times.
Brooks said crews worked to quickly repair main lines first, but this storm caused damage in many other areas.
Brooks told WRAL News that about 18 hundred line workers are at work in the triangle, with more arriving from surrounding areas.
“They’re going to keep working until everyone’s recovered,” Brooks said.
Temperatures are expected to reach 87 in Raleigh on Saturday, and while there is no heat advisory in effect, temperatures can be dangerous above 80 degrees for long periods for the elderly and babies, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Some customers told WRAL News they had no running water. For most customers in the Wake County area, this is not a problem, but for those who get their water from a well, they were unable to get running water.
Friday night storm damage
High winds caused damage in Chapel Hill and trees were reported in Chatham County and Mebane.
A lightning strike in Wake Forest sparked a brush fire off Highway 98. Serena Westra captured 15-second video of the fire. Holly Rund also took a 30 second video of the fire.
In Cary, a tree fell on a car, injuring one person. The Cary Police Department said it happened at Keisler Drive and Tryon Road.
A husband and wife had pulled into a parking lot to wait out the bad weather before a large tree fell on their car, police said. The husband had minor cuts to his forehead and the wife refused to seek treatment, police said.
“We had a major storm upon us last night around 6.45am which downed a large number of trees in Cary. The majority of roads have been cleared but three areas (Park St, Tanglewood and Pamlico) have downed trees .lines that Duke Energy will need to secure before we can complete the removal,” said Cary Public Works Manager Matthew Flynn. “Our focus today and tomorrow will be to complete the clearing of the roads and ensure that our facilities are safe. We will then move on to cleaning, which will probably last a week or two.”
An uprooted tree, along with downed power lines in Dix Park on Friday night, led the city of Raleigh to cancel the Oberlin Village Heritage 5K on Saturday.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Friday night that one person died after a tree fell in Franklin County. It happened around 6:35 p.m. on Cleghorns 1 Drive in Youngsville.
A man in Rocky Mount recovers after lightning struck him during Friday’s storm. His wife told WRAL News he was working on their air conditioning unit behind their home when he was struck by lightning.
In Durham, a massive tree fell on a garage on Pervis Road.
Also, several large trees crashed through Garner’s rooftops. Josh Carlisle shared several photos and a video of the damage on his Twitter page.
The storm had moved south and east from Wake County by 7:30 p.m., and clearer skies and less humidity are behind the front.