Wide areas of Salisbury plunged into darkness Monday night
By Mark Wineka
SALISBURY — Numerous sections of Salisbury, including a main commercial area on East Innes Street, spent a good chunk of Monday evening in the dark as Duke Energy repaired a transformer, according to reports.
It was a scheduled outage for the repairs, but it came at an inopportune time — about 5:30 on a busy Monday night before Christmas.
East Innes Street businesses such as KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Waffle House, Christo’s, Marco’s and others had to close. Traffic signals went dark at major East and West Innes Street intersections, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Long Street, Fulton Street and Ellis Street.
Stretches of North and South Fulton street also were dark, along with traffic signals at several of their intersections.
Duke reported approximately 2,000 people without power at 7:30 p.m., with hopes of restoring lights by 8 p.m. But when an alert went out about the scheduled outage, Duke said the repair work could last up to five hours.
The outages led to the the cancellation of basketball games Monday night at Salisbury High.
A three-car wreck at East Innes Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue contributed to the chaos, but the wreck had nothing to do with the loss of power in that area.
At least one person was hurt in the wreck. Meanwhile, officers were not available to direct traffic at most of the intersections without signals.
Duke Energy reportedly made calls to the affected businesses informing them that the outage was coming. The power outage map that customers often visit said, “The outage was caused by damage to our equipment.”
The city of Salisbury sent out an alert at 6:53 p.m. saying approximately 1,900 Duke Energy customers would be without power for three to five hours in areas of North Long, South Main, Old Concord Road, Park Avenue and East and West Liberty streets.
Much of the West Square Historic District off South Fulton Street was dark, all the way to Lincolnton Road. Likewise, sections along North Fulton and North Ellis Street areas were without power.
On the eastern side of Main Street, the Brooklyn South Square section also was affected by the outage.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.
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