Still reeling from recent storm damage, some in Triangle brace for Hurricane Idalia

Tom George Image
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Triangle prepares for Idalia weeks after recent storm damage
Duke Energy said some of the lingering damage from the recent severe storm could create issues especially if we see strong winds from Idalia.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Idalia -- and the potential for storms and high wind gusts come just weeks after parts of the Triangle are still recovering from severe weather of our own.

Just a few weeks ago, thousands were left without power, some for days or even a week or longer, mostly in Durham and Orange counties.

Now, some of those most affected are bracing for a Round 2.

North Carolina officials are preparing to take action once Idalia makes its way to North Carolina.

"Power was out for eight days, water was out for eight days; we had to do certain steps to get the tree removal done to get the power restored," said Jessie Brinson from Hillsborough.

A large tree hit a power line next to her home, knocking out power and destroying her shed.

Next door, a large tree hit a home. In east Durham, there are still signs of downed trees even after power was restored.

This time around, the Triangle is not expected to take a direct hit, but that doesn't mean we are out of the woods.

"Obviously the closer you get to the coasts, the higher the risk of those outages are, but we certainly could see some impacts here in Triangle," said Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy.

Duke Energy said some of the lingering damage could create issues especially if we see strong winds.

"You know, we do sometimes see situations where trees are weakened or damaged from a previous storm, and then when you get another set of gusts that come through that can be the last push it needs to cause those trees or limbs to fall," Brooks said.

In Hillsborough, Brinson said she has worked to clear out some of the worst of the tree limbs in her yard to mitigate any potential damage.

"I'm worried about the remainder of the trees that are already stressed from the storm that just came through; I'm worried about them staying in place through the coming rounds of storms," she said.

For now, Duke Energy said it will still have crews on hand staying in the Triangle and does not have plans to re-route them.

However, that could change depending on the final path of the storm. Duke Energy is advising people to make sure they have supplies on hand in case the power does go out, and have a plan in place to prepare for the storms.

READ MORE: Tips to make sure you're ready for Hurricane Idalia