RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of people across the Triangle were without power Friday as strong winds knocked down trees and ripped down power lines.

“The work we’re doing today, it’s repairing broken lines, broken poles, getting the power back up,” said Jeff Brooks, a spokesman with Duke Energy. “We’ve had particularly challenging conditions, we had all that rain yesterday that really softened the ground, and then these gusts that have hit 30, 40 miles per hour really brought down the big oaks that we have here in the Triangle.”

The good news is that tree removal crews worked hand in hand with Duke Energy crews to remove trees so the power could then be restored.

But there is some bad news.

“Given the number of outages, this is going to take some time, so this very likely will extend beyond today,” Brooks said.

Power crews say patience here is key as they work around the wind gusts and bitter cold temperatures to restore power over the Christmas weekend.

“We’ve put aside our holiday plans because it’s all hands on deck, and we’re making progress, but it’s a grind, it’s a process, and there’s a lot of work to do,” Brooks said.