Landis town staff, Duke Energy work through the night to fix major power outage

Published 1:41 pm Saturday, June 12, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — While residents across the county were asleep Thursday night, Landis utility workers were in the field with Duke Energy until 2 a.m. the following morning to fix a power outage affecting up to 90% of residents.

Town Manager Diane Seaford said around 7 p.m., one of the town’s regulators malfunctioned, resulting in a major power outage across Landis. The regulator has now been replaced, with an electrical engineer scheduled to program the equipment next week.

Seaford said customers should see no difference in their electric services, but programming the regulator will ultimately provide three-phase electric customers with a more consistent load.

Landis receives its electric services via Electricities, but uses transmission lines from Duke Energy to get that power. The regulator malfunction caused Duke’s circuits to fail, which needed to be repaired before the town could fix its circuits. At one point, Seaford said, Duke didn’t expect to complete its repairs until lunch time on Friday or later. Electric Department Supervisor Joe Halyburton, she said, “found a solution to save on time, equipment parts and money for Duke.”

Additionally, working to find the solution overnight prevented the town’s lift stations, which use electric power to filter sewer for treatment, from flooding due to a potential buildup.

“Our team’s professionalism, coordination with Duke Power and efficient repairs also enabled us to avert a potential sewer problem with our lift stations,” Seaford said. “The situation required help from all parts of our utility department. Everyone that was asked responded with a helpful attitude. The timely repairs also meant that all of our customers woke up this morning with the electricity needed to support their morning routines.”

Seaford also thanked residents for their patience, and added that utility workers keep the town’s electricity going more than 99% of the time. She doesn’t anticipate any further issues.

She added the utility field team and town administration met Friday to discuss what worked and what can be improved for future situation such as handling natural weather disasters or managing customer calls reporting the outage. The town is in the process of transitioning to a new phone system, and Seaford said town officials are determining better ways to receive a larger volume of after-hours calls.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.