Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Power outages drop to 3,710

A tree blocked Tracy Grove Road and wrecked a power pole. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO] A tree blocked Tracy Grove Road and wrecked a power pole. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Duke Energy crews and reinforcements from other states restored power to more than 16,000 homes and businesses in Henderson County, leaving 3,710 to go three days after a storm pummeled the region.


Power outages in the county peaked at more than 24,000. At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Transylvania County had 1,920 outages, Buncombe County had 15 and Polk County one. With 26,000, Western North Carolina had by far the most outages. Statewide, 36,735 customers were without power on Tuesday morning.

"It seems to be the damage is greatest to the west and to the south," Craig DeBrew, Duke Energy's district manager, said Monday morning. "We are seeing significant damage in those areas of Henderson County as well as Transylvania County and even down in Greenville. We've got 18,000 out in Greenville County."

"Right now we have our crews working on critical customers as well as those larger outages, working on getting our circuits restored," he said.

"We've got a lot of work to do over the next few days," DeBrew said. "At this point the damage assessment is a big part of the restoration and we're far from having all the areas of trouble looked at and assessed. I was just on a 10 o'clock call. We hope to have the damage asessment so we can enter estimated time of restoration sometime tomorrow afternoon." High winds pushing trees onto power lines was the most common cause of outages. Downtown Hendersonville had power. "When you get past Pardee toward Laurel Park, we've got outages beginning there," DeBrew said.

Dispatchers fielded 306 911 calls and 349 administrative calls from midnight to 3 p.m. Monday, including 10 car crashes, four structure fires, 62 reports of downed power lines down and 153 reports of trees down.

"Henderson County has the most outages in WNC and there are some roads they're still cleaning up but a lot of power outages are still affecting our communities," Sheriff's Maj. Frank Stout said.

Roads that remained closed Monday afternoon included N.C. 191 at Hooper Lane, Kanuga Road, Crab Creek Road and U.S. 64 at Oakdale Cemetery. Jackson Park was closed because of high water.

Paid and volunteer firefighters raced to emergency calls all night long.

"They've been working real hard to get the calls prioritized and to make sure Duke knows where the real trouble areas are," said Emergency Services Director Jimmy Brissie. Power outages "got up to about 24,000" at their peak. "Of those 235 calls, we're aware of six structures that were damaged by trees falling on them. There were no injuries so we're very thankful for that." NCDOT reported "about 30 roads that had pretty significant tree-fall on them that they were looking to clear."

Rainfall totals varied, with 3.36 inches on Pinnacle Mountain the highest amount.