Power restored to entire town

December 18, 2010 7:34:19 AM PST
The entire town of St. Pauls lost power Thursday morning and didn't get it back until nine hours later.

The small town of about 2,900 is located between Lumberton and Fayetteville along Interstate 95.

Homes in the town are served by Progress Energy. They say a transformer at a power substation just east of town failed shortly after 11 a.m. Crews worked all day and were able to restore electricity just before 9 p.m.

"Not having TV right now is really chaotic," resident Nathan Boyd said. "It's not good. I can't cook, I can't shower."

School students were sent home early, but with no power some residents sat in their cars or drove around town to stay warm.

Police and fire firefighters had to man intersections to direct traffic during the outage.

Most stores closed, but the few that did stay open were not really able to sell anything.

"It's tough, cause we can't use the cash register, can't see gas, got milk, but can't sell it," clerk Doug Jackson said.

As darkness fell, residents coped as best they could. Billi Stenz and her family say they turned inconvenience into an outdoor adventure.

"Oh we like to grill out anyway, the kids are kind of bored without their TVs and stuff," Stenz said.

Many residents said they found a new appreciation for the power.

"Take everything for granted and even though you don't have it you still hit the switch, it's not fun, hopefully we will have the power back on soon," resident Jenny Hollingsworth said.

The town's police chief says during the black-out there were no emergencies, no big problems and no serious issues.

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