Power outages lead to canceled classes at 2 Durham elementary schools, 1 high school

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3 Durham schools cancel classes due to power outages
Due to the power outages, Southern School of Energy and Sustainability High School, Merrick Moore and Bethesda elementary schools in Durham are closed today.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thousands remain without power Wednesday in the Triangle after a strong line of storms moved across central North Carolina on Tuesday.

The quick-moving storm downed trees and power lines.

Due to the power outages, Southern School of Energy and Sustainability High School, Merrick Moore and Bethesda elementary schools in Durham are closed today.

Power crews were dispatched as quickly as possible but safety for the crews was one of their biggest concerns.

The latest Duke Energy outage map shows nearly 7,000 without power in the Triangle, mostly in Durham.

"This felt like a hurricane for a while tonight," said Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy. "If the wind gets above 30 mph, we really can't raise those buckets and get out there and do the work."

Brooks said crews had their hands tied for hours while waiting for the wind to subside a bit.

"If the conditions are just not safe, we have to prioritize the safety of our crews," Brooks said. "These guys work really hard, they work in all kinds of conditions, but we want to get them home safely to their families every night, and that's our first duty."

That meant some customers would remain without power overnight.

"We're not going to stop until we get everybody back up, but some of these outages are going to take until tomorrow to restore and that's just the nature of where we are, we're still seeing new outages happening, ... and we just appreciate your patience as we get out there to get the job done," Brooks said.

Another area with a bulk of outages was along Leesville Road between Raleigh and Durham.

You can check Duke Energy Progress' Outage Map for yourself here.

The rain started early Tuesday morning and continued through the evening, but stronger storms with high winds developed in the afternoon and evening.


In the Triangle, Durham was still reported more than 4,100 without power. Wake County had more than 8,100 without power. Other areas significantly affected included Johnston County, where more than 4,300 were without power, Franklin County, where more than 2,400 remained without power, Harnett County, with more than 2,300 in the dark, Orange County with more than 2,400 with no power, and Moore County with about 2,000 outages.

Here are some tips from Ready NC on what you should do ahead of the storm before you lose power

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
  • Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank.
  • Have flashlights for every household member.
  • Have enough nonperishable food and water.

Here's what you should do if you lose power

If you lose power you should call your power company.

Numbers to call in the Triangle

Duke Energy Progressive: (800) 769-3766 (800-POWERON), or (800) 419-6356 - you can also text the word OUT to 57801

Wake Electric Membership Corporation: (919) 863-6499

PWC Fayetteville: (877) 687-7921

Where are the power outages? Here are some maps you can check for locations of current outages

If you live in Duke Energy coverage area, check this map

Check here for real-time outage numbers from electric cooperatives across North Carolina.

Stay safe! Don't do this

  • Stay away from downed wires and report the location immediately.
  • Always assume any downed wire is live.
  • Avoid making contact with branches or debris that may be in contact with downed power lines.
  • If you see a fallen power line or safety hazard involving our equipment, call your power company or call 911 immediately.
  • Do not touch a power line or anything in contact with it and keep others away until help arrives.
  • Never, ever use a generator indoors.
  • Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.
  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours.
  • A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary.

What to do after power is restored

Anyone with branches and trees down is going to want to get it cleaned up. Power companies warn that you or anyone working for you should use caution when clearing fallen tree limbs and debris from your yard after a storm. Always assume the downed line is live.

Be mindful of debris with sharp edges, glass or nails

Wear gloves and closed shoes

Don't walk in standing water

Food in the fridge or freezer

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 F (4 C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40 F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • Contact your doctor if you're concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.

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