DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — After over 6,000 Duke Energy customers in Durham County were without power early Saturday as Tropical Storm Ophelia moved inland from the North Carolina coast, Duke Energy crews were able to restore power to nearly all of those customers
According to Duke Energy’s power outage map, 2,510 customers in Durham County were still without power as of 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
As of 11:50 p.m., all but about 20 customers in Durham and about 125 in Wake County were without power.
Earlier in the day, 525 customers in Wake County are also without power, per the outage map. On Saturday morning, more than 2,000 customers in Wake, mostly in the southern part of the county near Fuquay-Varina, were without power.
As Ophelia heads north, Vance County was slo affected by power outages. Over 1,000 customers there, mostly east of Henderson, are in the dark early Saturday afternoon, according to Duke Energy’s power map.
Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks posted on social media that as of 7 a.m., there were 23,000 of the company’s customers in North Carolina from the coast to the Triad without power.
“Crews are restoring power where safe to do so,” Brooks posted. “High winds may limit aerial work until conditions improve.”
The storm has dropped buckets of rain down on the Triangle, and wind gusts have picked up throughout the day.
“That combination, if we start to see more accumulation of rain, can soften the ground and can lead to some downed trees and downed limbs. And that’s what we’re seeing really so far,” Brooks told CBS 17 in an interview.
Workers are going through the area, restoring people’s power as much as they can.
However, it can be difficult to do the repairs, with Ophelia’s winds still blowing.
“They do have to be careful with the winds when they get 30 miles per hour or above, it’s challenging for their buckets to be able to go up and work on those overhead lines. So, for us, we’re doing everything we can. And we’ve also even you will have the ability to adjust crews as needed throughout the day,” explained Brooks.
Brooks said his team mostly has everything under control, in part thanks to some newer technology the power company has been installing across the state.
“We’ve added smart self-healing technology in lots of our service area, and that technology can automatically detect a power outage and can reroute power to other power lines to get your service up faster,” he said.
There are additional crews in place, from South Carolina, to stand by to help in the harder-hit communities.
Brooks is asking for everyone’s patience while they work to restore power.
“We do everything we can to get your power back up. But it’s good to always think about it during storms like this, how you can keep your family comfortable…Certainly, as we work to restore power,” he said.
Brooks said power outages can be reported by texting “OUT” to 57801.
Keep checking Duke Energy’s map for the latest on outages and restoration times.