DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Duke Energy has issued an apology following power outages that left much of east Durham without power for more than 24 hours.
As a result, there are questions about why this affected mainly Black and Hispanic households.
"That's something we're really sorry about, but there was absolutely no connection between the work that happened that caused the outage and the communities it was serving," said Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy.
It seems like every time something does happen from phone service to electrical service it does affect the Black community.Frederick Mitchell, Durham resident
McDougald Terrace resident Ashley Canady spent her afternoon tossing out spoiled food at the community center and her home.
"Man, what wasn't ruined," Canady said. "I had literally went grocery shopping the same day and got some stuff."
It was the same story across the street.
"Threw some things out and it was probably a couple hundred dollars at the most," said longtime Durham resident Frederick Mitchell.
He wasn't worried about the money, he said. Instead, he had other concerns.
"It seems like every time something does happen from phone service to electrical service it does affect the Black community," he said.
Duke Energy told ABC11 the work was scheduled months in advance and it's not out of the ordinary for this kind of maintenance to happen in the winter. Durham Mayor Leonardo Williams is looking into the matter.
"Is it an equity issue? I don't know yet," Williams said.
ABC11 brought Williams' concerns to Duke Energy.
"No, this was not an equity issue or any other situation like that at all," said Brooks. "This was an unfortunate coincidence where damage occurred in a substation that happened to serve this community."
Duke Energy told ABC11 that it delivered breakfast to residents in some Durham public housing communities on Friday morning including at McDougald Terrace. The company also provided a grant to the Red Cross to cover meals for those affected by the outage.
Duke Energy also provided a grant to Durham Tech to replace food loss in its food pantry.
If you lost food, you can file a claim with the company, here's how to do that.
Mitchell said he wanted more.
"I want a credit on my bill," Mitchell said.