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LIGHTS OUT: Could be days before all have power back

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Cold and powerless. That's the situation in thousands of homes around our area, as families wonder when will their lights come back on.

Duke Energy Progress says southeastern North Carolina was one of the hardest hit places.

"I was washing the dishes and heard a big thump," Shelley Zacek of Brunswick County said. "I came outside to see what was going on, and the power lines are down."

Power has been out in her neighborhood Since 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"It sounded like a gun shot went off," Tim Middlesworth said.

With the lights off and no where to go, the Zacek family has kept busy playing cards, but they decided today it was time to get some fresh air.

"It was to get out of the house and go to the mall, where there is warmth and power," Zacek said.

With thousands of customers still powerless, Duke Energy Progress says it is doing its best to restore electricity as quickly as possible.

"This will be a multi-day outage, because of the severity of it, so we ask for customers patience," Duke Energy Progress spokesman Dave Scanzoni said.

But for people without heat, that is easier said than done.

"If there is anything I can do to help, I'll do it," Middlesworth said. "Anything to get the power back on."

Duke Energy Progress has 4,000 crew members across the state working 18 hour days to turn the lights back on. Teams from South Carolina, Indiana and Ohio are also helping out.

"With all these extra crews and resources, we hope to make more progress," Scanzoni said.

Duke Energy Progress says Tuesday 45 percent of customers in New Hanover County were without power along with 40 percent in Brunswick County. This afternoon it was down to less than 20 percent in New Hanover and 25 percent in Brunswick.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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DUKE ENERGY

I have to say that I was feeling a little let down and panicky by the second day of no power. No power for us means no water and the possibility of frozen pipes and ruined wells and pumps. I too, had not seen the hint of a company truck. As I went home yesterday to pack up a few things to go stay in a hotel, I passed a Duke Energy SUV. I flagged him down and asked him if they knew a better timeline. Even after numerous reported outages in our area, I called again minutes before running into this man, and the recording stated that there were no reported outages in my area. What? I told the man this and within 10 minutes I had 4 Duke Energy trucks with full crews on our street. Power was restored within the hour. The crew explained to me that they were from Reidsville & Greensboro, and were doing the best they could to work with Progress Energy service tickets (different from what Duke uses) and also they simply don't know their way around. I spent an hour pointing them to addresses and showing them problem areas. They were very appreciative. Another resident asked them if they could help her. One of the crew followed her to her house. They are working FOR us, and doing the best they can. I have called Duke Energy and given them the names of the men that helped our street and made sure their supervisors knew how helpful they were. Don't rely on the automated system. If you see the linemen, politely ask them for help. Believe me, they are out during all hours and braving the elements during this time. They want your power on as soon as possible too, so they can go home! remember to take the extra time to make the phone call and praise the linemen!

whiners!

We were w/o power for 2 WEEKS after Fran. Lived in Wilmington then. Try that, no a/c sweltering humidity and eating out of cans. Least you can add more clothes.

Duke Energy Progress ? Not that I can see.

Well Duke Energy Progress can now drop the Progress. If you are unfortunate enough to live on the south side of Wilmington you havent seen a Duke Energy truck in the area yet. Through all the hurricanes that have passed through Wilmington the former Progress Energy never let us down during a power outage. Restoral was always prompt and enough crews wer always brought in to handle restorals in a timely manner. Now with Duke in charge Wilmingto is now just the red headed stepchild to Charlotte. Don't even bother trying to check their website to look at schedules. No matter where you live it's Saturday at 11:45 pm. Why even tease the public with a useless website. The telephone reporting service is even worse. It calls you back in 15 minutes with the same bogus time given when you call to report the outage. They clain to be "assessing" the damages for days but couldn't they at least start repairs instead of spending days deciding what to do ? It's frustrating to see the house next door with power for 3 days and not so much as a repair crew even passing thru to look at the problem. Duke Energy Progress? Not!

Not bad

Planning was good response has been OK. Duke is doing the best they can considering the severity of this storm. I wished industry had been a little more proactive in Raleigh letting people out earlier so as to prevent what happened on the belt line but ........
Here in the city there were some treacherous intersections - especially Independence and Oleander with the traffic light being out.

Now - as far as out tree lined streets go? I appreciate the beauty of those trees but this storm proves once again that sometimes being pragmatic should over ride our desire for aesthetics. We should think about this at some locations in town - like Oleander and the Market street corridor ad make the hard decisions to either cut back severely or take down some trees. Don't forget, after this winters 2 ice storms we still have to face hurricane season, where even a near miss can wreak havoc on power lines/trees.

Vog

Electricity

While I am very grateful to the men that worked during the ice storm to restore power and I understand how Duke Energy could easily get overloaded with calls it is so aggravating that you can only get a "machine" when you call to report your power is off. Reason I say that is not all situations are the same. My wife and I could not understand why so many on our street had power and even the street lights were on yet we, and three neighbors in our cluster, were without power for 36 1/2 hours. I am 71 years old and had to live in a house that was 56 degrees all day Wednesday and 52 Thursday and toward the afternoon it dropped inside to 51. It drove me up the wall to see all the other homes on our street with power and the street behind us their lights on as were their streetlights and also the main road behind our development. Yet I couldn't get through to Duke to see what was happening to keep us four homes without power. And as us old folks do as we get aggravated our blood pressure elevates! If Duke's system has enough technical know-how to know from what area you are calling and can give you an update (although never correct) on when your power might be restored, then why can't it recognize your being in the situation of witnessing those all around you with power yet you and three neighbors are still sitting there without. How nice it would be if a "HUMAN" would answer these type calls and let you know the WHY of your being in a doughnut hole still without power. Eventually early last night our power was restored. And apparently it was because of a situation on the block over from us because we had witnessed power trucks going on to that street an hour or so earlier. I had later gotten in my vehicle and drove over to that area to see if they were still working in hopes that they had not left the area and not came to our street. When I saw they were still working I went back home with the hope they would come to our street next. But as I said the power did come on later and I then ASSUMED it was from whatever work had gone on that street a block over. Thing of it was there are houses across from us on our street that their backs are to that block over from our street and those neighbors across our street had power since the day before.
So since Duke takes our money every month why can't they be nice enough to as I said recognize the folks telephone number that is calling as being not in the normal callers and let them know why people all around them have power and they do not.
But then it is like the Time Warner cable company in knowing if you want land-line cable in our area you have to go with them as that is all that is offered so they treat you anyway they please. Some day just maybe their pockets won't be big enough to give out money to the politicians that allow them to have a monopoly on an area.

How does it happen....

Every time we have a massive power outage the highest crime areas get catered by the utility companies first?
It's just a tad frustrating my food is spoiling, my house is freezing, no real ability to take even a Luke warm shower. But the parasite central gets all the comforts of living back 1st!!

I payed over 15,000 in taxes last year not to include the amount I paid in utility bills!
Why are all of us working class treated like 3rd class?
Just a little Fed Up with the liberal left's ideas of giving a helping hand!

I bet at least 70% or higher in those areas pay not a dime in income tax,and even higher pay any power, water etc. bills.
Vote the left out in every election!!!

Trees. My yard has too many

Trees. My yard has too many trees and I am told that the process of getting permission to cut some trees down is a pain in the neck. This storm put limbs on my power and cable tv and Internet lines. But even worse, they wrapped around the power lines servicing some of my neighbors who are still without power. Why does the city insist on scrutinizing every tree on private property before the property owner is allowed to remove it. Don't get me wrong. I love trees. But if I want to remove one pine tree just let me do it without the hassle.

no power for days??

I was told 2 different things from 1, a person affiliated with EMT and the fire department in Leland...2, a relative who is a reporter in Wilmington. First, most crews have been sent to the Charlotte area, and secondly Duke/Progress didnt send enough crews to our area because the storm was under estimated after they hired too many for the last storm.

Personally I seen crews within seeing distance of my house but yet no power. They repaired lines within a mile of our house, we spoke with crews within 150 ft of our house. Yet no power, even though I have 2 small children. A Duke truck rode came by and said, " they're working on getting to you".....4 hours ago....

duke power

Thanks to all the guys at Duke Energy!! We know you guys are working hard in the cold, ice and snow to get power back on. Bless you all!!!