Power outages send thousands to area hotels

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Submitted: Thu, 02/13/2014 - 4:37am
Updated: Thu, 02/13/2014 - 7:42pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In our five county viewing area more than 67,000 people are in the dark and those who don’t have a friend or family member to stay with are heading for the hotels.

“I thought I would be in town for just four nights and it’s been six now,” said Karen Hopkins.

Thankfully Hopkins had family in Wilmington who she was able to stay with until the power went out Wednesday afternoon.

“I waited an hour and I thought it was going to come back on any minute, but then it didn’t come on,” said Hopkins. “I decided to go to the CVS, and just in case get a few candles and get a flashlight, but the CVS I went to first was closed so then I called the hotel.”

Close to 40% of New Hanover and Brunswick County residents who use Duke Energy Progress were without power and another 90% were without power in Columbus County.

The large number of outages has the electric company calling in the cavalry.

“The good news is Duke Energy has an army of technicians and line crew ready to work at the first day break tomorrow morning,” said Dave Scanzoni. “It’s unsafe for our crews to work over night in the darkness but we’ll be having a crew of about 4000 between this part of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina because those are the areas hardest hit.”

With some outages expected to continue for multiple days for some the weekend can’t soon enough.

“I love Wilmington, it’s a beautiful place and I’m enchanted with it from the beach to the river it’s wonderful, but I’m ready to go home,” said Hopkins.

Scanzoni says that the areas with the highest number of outages will be targeted to get their power on first, and crews are working around the clock until all power is expected to be restored by Saturday.


  • BeachBum1984 says:

    Lazy? I know many people who work for the electric companies in Brunswick and New Hanover. Let me help you with some info. Alot of crews started working on Tuesday and are still working Thursday. Some have not been home but to shower and eat. They can have breaks, the law does give them time, I would hope your job wouldnt make you work for days without a break. So yes Last night I saw a man sleeping in his truck, power was still out in some area’s but what to you expect? Also when working with power, sometimes a crew can get to a job and have to wait, sometimes there are issues that are out of their hands and they have to wait on other companies (like tree cutters) to do their work first, or water companies to check their area’s before they can do their work. They are not robots. Goodness get off your soapbox and get a life
    (Duke / Progress dragging their feet)

  • guesty says:

    “I’m not going to come to where you work and throw rocks at you while you are mowing.” -Rodney Carrington

  • No Power says:

    While most of Progress Energy’s employees seem to be working very hard during this, they have some that are taking advantage of the situation. Collecting the OT without doing much. I witnessed three trucks… two Progress and one Asplundh tree crew parked at the mini mart at the corner of Old Fayetteville and Lanvale yesterday afternoon for nearly two hours – yes, there was power there. The workers were just wandering around talking to each other, and drinking whatever lazy line crews drink when they are wasting time, basically doing nothing but waiting for it to get dark because “It’s unsafe for our crews to work over night in the darkness”. Lazy asses. Think of all the people up Lanvale that you could have restored power to.

    Those particular workers should be identified, and given the most crap jobs then sent home permanently.

    The captcha for this happened to be “pork pies”, which describes them well.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …you could’ve taken the time to ask them their names, get their vehicle numbers, take a video and squeal on them yourself instead of having someone else do it for you. That way you would’ve had less time to whine, complain and bitch about it on this website and would’ve perhaps accomplished something productive.

  • GingerEngineer says:

    No Power, have you ever managed a disaster recovery operation? Or a technical crew with several different experts? Do you work in the field of Power at all? It doesn’t sound like you do because if you did you would understand that perhaps crews are staged at the junction of several critical power paths so that as repairs are made upstream and power is restored, they are located at a critical junction to make additional repairs or maybe a repair upstream just took longer than expected and the crew you saw were told to stay on location by their dispatcher. Perhaps you should go back to your hot chocolate and let the professionals do their job. Oh and while your sipping a hot chocolate try being grateful that this crew and countless others are out in the freezing conditions and you don’t have to. Just saying.

  • guest me says:

    If the power company people are anything like the Fire/EMS folks, they have been working around the clock keeping people safe. Who’s to say they can’t take a break and enjoy some coffee? That isn’t a 9-5 job. They work until the work is done. I saw workers on Lanvale well after dark finishing a repair last night. Hats off to those keeping the lights on!

  • GrandmaK says:

    Hey buddy, my husband works for the power co. He was at work at 6 am yesterday, got home at 10:30 last night and was up at 4 AM this morning to go back to work while you were snoring. He is in a bog with soaked feet cause the water is over his waders. Their truck is stuck in the mud. You think power lines are all in nice dry areas? I guess sleeping isnt important when you are working with high voltage. Idiot.

  • No Power says:

    First of all, I know exactly what you husband goes through because I did it here for over 35 years. That qualifies me to point out slackers when I see them, and they most certainly were. You should go back and read my opening statement where I said that most are working very hard. Your husband is probably among them. Unfortunately, there are always some that will take advantage. That was these guys.

    Someone else posted “Maybe a Staging Area”. It wasn’t. Also that person made a comment about “repair upstream” That wasn’t the case either. Again, I’ve been through this many times.

    So here’s the whole deal about what was going on there. There are two 3 phase feeders that split at that intersection. One feeder goes down old fayetteville road, the other continues south on Lanvale. Both feeders were hot at the point. Remember, I know what to look for. In any event, the cuase of the rest of lanvale being out was an untrimmed tree drooping down, and causing two of the sectionalizers to open. The result was two thirds of the customers down that direction being out. The asplundh tree crew trimmed the tree, and the progress truck patroled the line, and then they just sat there for two hours. 500 customers out for 18 hours longer than they needed because they couldn’t be bothered to get a hotstick out, and close the sectionalizers.

    Progress energy, as you husband will tell you, has completely abandoned any form of routine tree trimming. That’s why their outage ratio is so much higher than the electric co-ops during this event.

    Also, I wasn’t complaining for me, as my power was only off for a short time. I was thinking of all those families who were affected by them taking a two hour coffee break. Even if my power had gone off, I bought a generator a long time ago since there were times that I had to do what your husband does now, and I didn’t want to be distracted by being concerned for them while I was doing restoration work.

    They make people like me and your husband look bad.

    He’d be pissed also.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:


  • Mrs.B says:

    This was/is a stressful time for many of us. We lost electricity yesterday afternoon and it was restored 6 hours later. I was grateful. I was very impressed that the repairs men were doing the job during the storm. Their equipment was damaged while they were working, yet as limbs were falling left and right, they diligently worked. I enjoyed my nap and books in the time before electricity was restored. Not 30 minutes after the lights came on, our cable and internet went down. It just came back almost 22 hours later. We survived. I took another nap and read another book. It was great, but I am pleased with the fact that strangers risked their lives so we can be warm. I really felt like they could have waited for their own safety.

  • chris says:

    First you say ; The good news is Duke Energy has an army of technicians and line crew ready to work at the first day break tomorrow morning, then you say they are working around the clock,, I feel that this is something that need to be brought up, in a meeting ,, we had our rates go up almost 20% and they get a raise ,but to be treated like we are no one , and for them not to help the public in a better way is just wrong , they knew that this storm was coming ands they had all the time to be ready for this problem ,, but no, they waited and now people are out of power and will be until sat or sunday ,, maybe in to monday ,, you have the power to work and knew about this storm ,, and you didn’t work it for the people who pay your wages ,

  • katie says:

    I hope the crews out working hard and risking their lives in these conditions don’t listen to some of these boneheads! We appreciate all that you guys are doing!
    Someone who is still without power after 24 hours but who understands that I’m not the only person in the world.

  • BRETT GAINEY says:

    Has anybody seen a power company truck anywhere?

  • P Earwood says:

    Needless to say when I called the “outage” line yesterday at 4:35 pm, automated system stated “your outage was cleared at 4:37, if your power…..” my my my – wonderful automatation – power went out at 1 pm yesterday, as of 11:21 am 2/13/14 still no power – Brunswick Electric

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