Thousands lose power in Salisbury, eastern Rowan during consecutive days with outages

Published 11:57 am Monday, July 12, 2021

SALISBURY — Thousands of Duke Energy customers in Salisbury and eastern Rowan County were without power for parts of Sunday afternoon and Monday morning following two outages that are still under investigation.

Due to an equipment failure, several downed power lines caused roughly 1,700 residents between Bringle Ferry and Stokes Ferry roads to lose power around 2:15 p.m. on Sunday. As Duke Energy crews worked to remedy the outage, an additional 2,500 customers in the area lost power a little over an hour later. Most customers saw their power restored around 5:30 p.m., but a few outages lasted closer to 6 p.m.

“These equipment failures are rare on a system, but the power grid is a machine and from time to time we will see some outages like these,” said Jeff Brooks, a Duke Energy spokesperson.

The power outage on Monday morning occurred around 8:45 a.m. and impacted roughly 2,500 customers — some of whom were without power Sunday, too. The second outage was the result of a safety mechanism activating and taking a power line out of service. When voltage levels fluctuate, Brooks said, a breaker is automatically tripped and power is shut down. Power in the area was restored for the majority of customers around 10:07 a.m.

The Duke Energy online outage map indicated that a few isolated outages were still occurring past 11:30 a.m.

“We’re going to work to restore power as quickly as we can, especially on days when temperatures are high and people rely on electricity to stay cool,” Brooks said.

Although both outages are still under investigation, Brooks said they could be related.

When customers experience outages, they can shut off appliances that were in use before the outage to protect them when the power comes back on.

Brooks said the energy company is working to implement technology that could reduce the time customers are without power during outages in the future.

“That’s one of the reasons we’re installing self-healing technology onto our power grids currently, including in the Salisbury area,” Brooks said. “This technology automatically detects power outages and re-routes the power to other power lines to reduce the number of customers who are impacted and restore power faster. This is an excellent example of the types of situations where that technology can reduce outage times.”

Duke Energy customers can keep up with reports power outages in real time at outagemap.duke-energy.com/#/current-outages/ncsc.

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About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at ben.stansell@salisburypost.com.

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