Recovery

Michael: 1,200 Alamance, N.C., Customers Still Without Power

'The damage is more intense. We have had miles and miles, thousands of miles, of wire down, poles broken, so those types of restorations take a long time.'

by Kate Croxton, Times-News, Burlington, N.C. / October 16, 2018

(TNS) - Some 1,200 Alamance County, N.C., customers remained without power Monday, Oct. 15, after Tropical Storm Michael swept through the area Thursday.

At the peak of the outages, 33,000 Duke Energy customers in Alamance County — about 43 percent — were without power, company representative Meredith Archie said.

The latest expected time for full restoration for customers was midnight Tuesday, Oct. 16.

“The large majority will have their power back on before then, and we hope to get as many people on before then as possible,” Archie said.

Michael was different from Florence, which hit in early September, because trees were the main reason for the power outages throughout the state, Archie said.

“It is not like an isolated area or a very specific area; it has been scattered all over,” Archie said. “The damage is more intense. We have had miles and miles, thousands of miles, of wire down, poles broken, so those types of restorations take a long time.”

In the Triad alone, 4,000 crew members were working to restore power, Archie said.

“Certainly nothing compared to Florida, but in the Carolinas, the Triad certainly took the brunt of it in terms of damage that we have seen and the corresponding outages,” Archie said.

Alamance County Emergency Management has been working with fire departments and local officials to compile a list of places with reported damage. Assessments will begin Tuesday as the team had to wait until most of the downed power lines were repaired before beginning the assessments.

The Alamance-Burlington School System was on a two-hour delay Monday morning, Oct. 15, as a safety precaution for bus drivers, ABSS representative Jenny Faulkner said.

“The two extra hours of daylight helped them spot and avoid any areas that may have had storm debris remaining on the edges of roads, and it gave us extra time to reroute buses as needed to avoid areas where tree and power crews were still working,” Faulkner said.

During the storm, 10 ABSS schools and the district administrative office lost power. All the schools and the central office came back online by Sunday afternoon, Faulkner said.

“Our ABSS maintenance crews worked throughout the weekend to ensure that all school campuses were cleared, safe and accessible,” Faulkner said. “While we had several trees down across the district, we did not have any that fell on buildings or caused major damages other than a few that fell across some athletic field fences. We did have one tree come down with a power line at Graham High School, but overall, we feel very, very fortunate.”

Many residents used the recent weekend to clean up at their homes and businesses. Piles of tree limbs could be seen in people’s front lawns.

Burlington’s Public Works crews will up staff in the following weeks to handle the increased storm debris, Burlington representative Morgan Lasater said.

“We ask that residents continue to be patient as city crews work through the increased amount of debris removal,” Lasater said. “Larger debris will take longer to remove as the removal may exceed the capabilities of typical bulk yard waste collection vehicles. Residents should expect a response time that could be over a week after the debris has been registered in the software that helps guide staff in bulk and yard waste removal.”

Reporter Kate Croxton can be reached at kate.croxton@thetimesnews.com or 336-506-3078. Follow her on Twitter at @katecroxtonBTN.

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