Power Being Restored to the Piedmont, Cleanup Continues
Almost all of Duke Energy's 1.9 million customers in North Carolina have power.Last Thursday, a line of severe storms cut through our state. According to the National Weather Service, it brought 60-to-70 mile an hour winds that uprooted trees, sent debris swirling through neighbhorhoods and downed power lines. Duke Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Zagac says the most damage happened in Alamance, Forsyth, Guilford, Johnston, Lee, Mecklenburg and Rockingham counties. "In the hardest hit areas, our crews are having to take down distribution poles and put up new ones. In some places, they also have to put up wires," explains Zagac. "It's a difficult and complicated task depending on the land they have to deal with and the physical surroundings. And if there's a lot of debris to clean up, that can delay things too."
Many in the Piedmont spent this weekend cutting though the latest round of storm debris. In Winston-Salem, Pike Electric crews worked with Duke Energy to restore power to residents around the city. Oaklawn Avenue is just off the lower half of Robinhood Road. Thursday afternoon around 4 p.m., strong winds downed a huge tree that sat next to the driveway of Lindsay Stanley’s home. “It was an old oak tree," says Stanley. "The house is about 85 years old so I’m guessing the tree is about the same age.” Lindsay stands in her front yard holding her 9-month-old daughter McCall watching linemen strip hardware from one of two broken utility poles. As the tree fell, it pulled down their lines that fed power to homes in the neighborhood. Twenty-four hours later, they were still in the dark. “It (the tree) didn’t damage the house but we have a little damage to the fence beside our driveway. Across the street, it fell on a company truck from our house and fortunately no one was in it." Friday, workers replaced at least two damaged utility pools and several fixtures. Power was restored later that evening. Meanwhile a few blocks away on Arbor Road, Sean Grady and his neighbor Bob Cox cut up large branches that had fallen off Grady’s 60 plus year old maple tree onto Cox’s driveway. "We just lost that little tree in the front yard because there’s not enough left to sustain it," says Grady. He points to a second floor bedroom window in his home at 967 Arbor Road and realizes the large maple is also doomed. "We’ll have to take this big one out because that’s my daughter’s room, I don’t have a choice. So I’m going from three trees to one.” Grady says the reason he and his wife bought this home on Arbor Road was because of the beautiful trees on the property. But he sadly admits the old trees are no match for strong winds. “What happens is the storms come through and you loose a big chunk here and there and it gets to the point that there isn’t enough for the tree to survive," he says disheartened. "So you have to cut down the whole tree to control how it comes down or else it will be really dangerous.” Grady says the only silver lining is that everyone in their neighborhood never lost power.