Frigid temperatures leave many in the dark


The American #PublicPower Association

Triangle residents endure harsh temperatures as power is restored over a cold holiday weekend.

Peggy Chen, News Editor

Massive power outages and frigid cold temperatures pounded the triangle area over the holiday weekend.  Wind chill alerts were issued throughout the country, and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper activated a state of emergency plan due to the low temperatures.

By Friday, December 23, temperatures had dropped below freezing levels, with several inches of snow in the mountains and wind gusts of 30-50 mph reported. 

On Saturday, December 24, 400,000 customers of Duke Energy lost power due to cold temperatures. Duke Energy requested that customers conserve energy in order to combat the scarce electricity supply, and interrupted service of around 500,000 customers in an attempt to maintain the energy grid. 

Mukesh Chaudhary, a local resident in Cary, NC, said, “I was in the middle of troubleshooting a client problem on their server, [when] I lost connectivity.” He explained the detrimental effects the power outage caused, claiming his client lost thousands of dollars. 

By the late afternoon, 80% of shortages had been restored, while 45,000 customers remained without power. Governor Roy Cooper issued a statement on Twitter, revealing he met with the CEO of Duke Energy and “[offered] assistance and [expressed] urgency about the need to restore power quickly while keeping customers accurately informed.”

As North Carolina prepares to ring in the new year, power crews, vulnerable residents and businesses ready themselves for more cold temperatures.