Crews work to restore power to thousands in NC

Ed Crump Image
Sunday, January 24, 2016

Thousands of utility workers were outside in the cold Sunday trying to restore power to many who are inside in the cold.

Those workers include Duke Energy employees and elective workers from other states.

Long before the sun came up, utility workers were being bused into a parking lot at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh. That's where Duke Energy and its contractors are set up to change shifts and load up their trucks with supplies.

Some of the contractors, like Justin Spencer, came from as far away as Florida.

"I enjoy it a lot," Spencer said. "It's actually an honor to be up here, up here helping people get their power back on."

Spencer and the others got a warm sendoff in the mess tent at Walnut Creek. Everything from eggs and sausage to pancakes and grits were available, along with hot coffee. On the way out, a pile of boxed lunches were ready for workers to take with them.

Crews have already successfully restored power to tens of thousands. Sunday morning, though, crews still had tens of thousands to go.

Sharon Creech of Garner was warm Sunday morning after having her power restored. She knows that's thanks to so many utility workers braving the cold.

"We do appreciate all their service and coming from out of state and, you know, helping us out here," Creech said.

Related: What to do when you lose power in winter

Mother Nature is behind all the havoc that caused so many power outages, but it might be Mother Nature that will ultimately help the power crews. The sun came up Sunday morning and immediately started melting the ice.

That could mean power will be restored sooner than some had anticipated.

But, however long it takes, utility workers say their work is never more rewarding than in situations like this.

"It feels really good whenever you get them lights, them lights back on and everybody starts clapping.," Spencer said. "You know, it's a, it's really enjoyable."

Duke Energy Progress is asking customers to report outages or register for outage notifications on their website or call 1-800-419-6356.

Report a Typo