Turn on the lights

Ruby Sinreich's picture

The power is out in various places around town. So far I've heard Morgan Creek and Village West are dark, and police are conducting traffic at the intersections of MLK and Umstead/Hillsborough, and at Franklin and Estes.

Other reports?

Here's a dynamically updated map. The latest is also available at http://www.duke-energy.com/outages/map/triangle.htm

issue: 

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29 Comments

I just received the

I just received the following email from the Town of Chapel Hill at 12:07pm:

April 16, 2007

Send your feedback and questions about Chapel Hill eNews to Catherine Lazorko, Town Information Officer, 919/969-5055 or tio@townofchapelhill.org

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Spring Storm Report #3

Town of Chapel Hill public safety and public works crews continue to respond to numerous intersections where traffic lights are not operating due to power outages
caused by today's spring storm.

No accidents have been reported, and motorists are advised to exercise caution.

Crews are preparing about 20 portable generators to provide power at priority intersections. In the meantime, drivers should treat all intersections where lights are
out as four-way stops. This is required by law for safety.

An updated list of locations where traffic signals are not operating:

- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Hillsborough Street

- Estes Drive at Franklin Street

- Elliott Drive at Franklin Street

- Eastgate at Franklin Street

- Elliott Drive at 15-501

- Eastgate at 15-501

- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Estes Drive

- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Piney Mountain Drive

- Franklin at Boundary streets

- Raleigh Road at Country Club Road

- Cameron Avenue at Country Club Road

- Eastowne at 15-501

- Manning Drive at 15-501

- Columbia Street at 54 (westbound ramp)

- Fordham Boulevard at Old Mason Farm

- Franklin Street at Merritt Mill Road

- Franklin at Graham streets

- Franklin Street at Mallette Street

- Cameron Avenue at Ransom Street

- Cameron Avenue at Columbia Street

- Cameron Avenue at Pittsboro Street

- South Columbia Street at Manning Drive

- South Columbia Street at Mason Farm Road

- South Columbia Street at 54 Bridge

- South Columbia Street at Mount Carmel Church Road

- 15-501 South at Main Street

- 15-501 at Arlen Park Drive

Fire personnel have responded to numerous small transformer fires. Public Works crews are busy removing fallen trees and limbs from roads.

If you come upon a utility line that has fallen or is compromised by tree limbs, do not touch the line or the tree! Keep all children and pets out of the area and
call 911. All lines should be considered live until checked out by the utility. Please don't attempt to cut limbs that are near utility lines. Electricity is
extremely dangerous, use the utmost caution.

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April 16, 2007 Send your

April 16, 2007

Send your feedback and questions about Chapel Hill eNews to Catherine Lazorko, Town Information Officer, 919/969-5055 or tio@townofchapelhill.org

________________________________________

Spring Storm Report #4

For the end-of-day commute, motorists are advised that troublesome traffic spots persist throughout Chapel Hill as the power outage continues.

Fallen trees have brought down power lines at two locations along East Franklin Street -- at Stroud Hill near Meadowbrook and Elizabeth and at Park Place. Motorists are advised of lane closures or traffic detours in these locations.

There are at least five locations where trees have fallen and downed lines including Rolling Road, Park Place at Country Club, Brookview and Kenmore, Stroud Hill and East Franklin, and South Boundary Lane. More trees are reported fallen at: Seawell School Road, South Lakeshore, Sonoma Way, Mallette and Colony Court, Lake Ellen, Buttons Road, Tenny Circle, Piney Mountain (two locations), and Rollingwood at South Lakeshore.

Town of Chapel Hill public safety and public works crews have responded to numerous intersections where traffic lights are not operating. Crews installed numerous portable generators to provide power at priority intersections. Drivers should treat all intersections where lights are out as four-way stops. This is required by law for safety.

Due to the continued power outage, government meetings have been rescheduled. The Chapel Hill Town Council public hearing has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Council Chamber of Town Hall, and the Planning Board meeting has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the first floor conference room of Town Hall. Citizens who need to contact Town Hall should use the following telephone number: (919) 968-2700.

Duke Energy customers should contact 1-800-POWERON if they have an outage in the service area and for Spanish speaking customers they may call - 1-800-943-6914 for assistance as well. Outage information is available at: http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/outages.asp

An updated list of traffic signals that are not operating:

- Elliott Drive at Franklin Street
- Eastgate at 15-501
- Franklin at Boundary streets
- Raleigh Road at Country Club Road
- Cameron Avenue at Country Club Road
- Eastowne at 15-501
- Columbia Street at 54 (westbound ramp)
- Fordham Boulevard at Old Mason Farm
- Franklin Street at Merritt Mill Road
- Franklin at Graham streets
- Franklin Street at Mallette Street
- Cameron Avenue at Ransom Street
- Cameron Avenue at Pittsboro Street
- South Columbia Street at Manning Drive
- South Columbia Street at Mason Farm Road
- South Columbia Street at 54 Bridge
- South Columbia Street at Mount Carmel Church Road
- 15-501 South at Main Street
- 15-501 at Arlen Park Drive

Safety Information about Downed Power Lines:

Don't assume a downed line is safe. All wires may have
electricity flowing through them, and they could be dangerous even if they aren't sparking or humming. Stay at least 10 feet away if the ground is dry and
much further away if the ground is damp.

A "live" wire can conduct electricity, as can tree limbs,
brooms, plastic or metal shovels and other items.

Don't try to push or remove a power line with a tree limb or something else. Wet or dry, electricity could travel through tree limbs and other objects because electricity is always looking for the fastest way to the ground. And it could be enough electricity to kill. Because most people can't tell the difference between phone lines and
electrical lines, treat the downed line as a power line.

If a power line lands on your vehicle, despite the urge to exit your vehicle, stay inside. This is because metal will conduct electrical current. Use your mobile phone to call for help or ask passers-by to get help.

If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line, do not try to touch the person.
Efforts to pull an electric shock victim away could make you a second victim. Instead, call 911 immediately.
Even minor shocks can cause life-threatening conditions hours later, so it is important to seek medical attention.

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A friend just forwarded me

A friend just forwarded me this update from Duke Energy. I will also post the accompanying map shortly.

This note is from Ken Kernodle.

First let me say thanks for your patience, your help and understanding of today's outage situation. Wind conditions earlier this morning and continuing throughout the day have generated numerous outages in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County. With the continuing high winds, our restoration efforts have been and continue to be hampered. We anticipate wind conditions dying down after dark tonight to the 10-15 mph range which should help in our restoration efforts.

Forecast tomorrow calls for wind conditions to be 10-20 mph. This is an improvement over today and we anticipate making major progress in our restoration efforts.

Update: First let me say that Duke Energy serves approximately 44,000 customers in Orange County. Currently we have approximately 8,300 customers without power. We will work diligently until every customer has been restored. However, this appears to be a multi-day event until we get the last customer back on.

Between now and nightfall we are working to restore all major circuits that are out. We may or may not be successful. We will maintain an emergency group throughout the night to assist where necessary. Our crews will be starting restoration efforts at 6am tomorrow morning. We will open the Chapel Hill Operation Center as a satellite location for incoming crews tomorrow.

Following we have attempted to provide you a map with the major outages in the county/city. We hope this will be helpful as you talk with your constituents. Brenda and I will be available after 7am to address any questions or concerns you may have. We anticipate having ETOR's (estimated times of restoration) available for those remaining off by noon tomorrow.

I know that after Hurricane

I know that after Hurricane Fran and the ice storm of 2002 that the obvious question arose about underground power lines vs. above-ground. Does anyone know of any actual analysis of the costs & benefits? It seems like everytime something like this happens, vast sums of money are spent to get things back to normal. Not to mention the more difficult to quantify costs incurred by individuals & businesses who dealt with the effects.

And beyond that - those power lines & poles are ugly.

Incidents like these also make home power systems look better, even small auxiliary systems on homes.

Another thing to

Another thing to ponder...yes it might be expensive to put all the lines underground...but how much does it cost the area when businesses, schools, etc get shut down for days at a time? Loss of food that needs refrigeration? Sales taxe revenue lost? Perhaps we should consider providing State funds for burying the lines. I know that Duke Power is a private company, but ultimately the consumer is going to pay one way or another. At least if it's tax money, instead of rate hikes, the greater burden falls more on those better able to bear it.

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Here's the latest Town

Here's the latest Town update. Sounds like good news for my neighborhood.

April 17, 2007

Send your feedback and questions about Chapel Hill eNews to Catherine Lazorko, Town Information Officer, 919/215-8696 or tio@townofchapelhill.org

________________________________________

Spring Storm Report #5

Public Works crews worked throughout Monday night to clear trees and debris from the roads and install portable generators at traffic signals that lack power.

Although most intersections throughout Chapel Hill are now functioning, many are operating on generators. Power crews will be out working to restore power to a residential 12-block square area from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Hillsborough Road to Estes Drive.

While the trees have been removed from most streets, fallen lines need to be dealt with and power restored. This will require roads to be blocked and detours established.

Locations that will be blocked to traffic for at least part of the day:

- South Boundary at Franklin streets
- Westbound lane of West Franklin from Estes to Boundary
- Umstead Drive at Pritchard Avenue
- Rolling Road at Lakeshore
- Brookview at Kenmore

Traffic signals that are not operating (this is a correct update to an earlier report):

- Fordham Boulevard at Eastowne (generator being installed this morning)
- Hillsborough at Rosemary streets
- Raleigh at Country Club roads
- Country Club at Gimghoul
- West Franklin at Graham
- West Franklin at Mallette
- Cameron Avenue at Ransom Street
- Cameron Avenue at Pittsboro (generator being installed this morning)

Motorists are asked to find alternate routes and exercise patience. Troublesome traffic spots persist. If drivers come upon an intersection where the lights are out, they should be treated as four-way stops. This is required by law for safety.

Yard waste is collected from Chapel Hill residences on Thursday and Friday. For information, please call the Public Works Department at 968-2796.

Chapel Hill Town Hall is without power in part of the building for the second day, but the expectation is that power will be restored by afternoon. The Chapel Hill Town Hall generator has been activated. However, many departments are without e-mail or telephone communication. The Manager's Office can be reached via the Human Resources Department: (919) 968-2700. If you have an emergency, call 911.

Due to the power outage, government meetings have been rescheduled. The Chapel Hill Town Council public hearing has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. today, in the Council Chamber of Town Hall, and the Planning Board meeting has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. Wednesday, in the first floor conference room of Town Hall.

If residents would like news and updates by email, please visit www.townofchapelhill.org and subscribe to e-news (please see the link in the upper right corner of the homepage).

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Tell your friends and neighbors about this new service of the Town of Chapel Hill. E-mail subscriptions can be made at http://www.townofchapelhill.org/list.asp

Regarding the costs of

Regarding the costs of relocating existing powerlines to underground locations: the Chapel Hill Streetscape Master Plan Review Committee looked into this when it was examining various options for Rosemary Street. It is extremely expensive. Not only do you have to dig up streets and/or adjoining properties but you also have to lay conduit that is sufficiently large to accomodate future growth needs going forward many years. Then there is the cost of re-connecting the various businesses/homeowners from the underground lines.

The idea that the state might contribute to such an undertaking is attractive - but fanciful, given that we've resorted to taxing the poor (i.e, NC Lottery) to fund our educational system.

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Here's the latest from ken

Here's the latest from ken Kernodle at Duke Energy:

Subject: Tuesday 9am Update
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 09:29:23 -0400

Crews are currently in the field restoring power to affected locations
in Orange County. Currently we still have 6,000 customers without power.
We are now working on the circuit that serves city hall. The Franklin
Street area continues to be a challenge. We anticipate getting
approximately 900 customers on in the Hillsborough area very shortly.
Please understand that this storm has generated hundreds of individual
location outages and it will take time to restore all customers. Our
best judgment at this time is it could be as late as Thursday before
"all" are back on. Please call if there are critical situations that
need our attention. We have done our best to prioritize and are pleased
that all schools and major health facilities are energized. We will
provide you another update early this afternoon. Thanks again for you
patience and support in this endeavor. Please call Brenda or myself for
any additional assistance.

Ruby Sinreich's picture

I've noticed that one of the

I've noticed that one of the large red hexagons (indicating 1,001-7,500 homes without power) has been removed from the center of Chapel Hill on Duke's map (dynamically updated above and at http://www.duke-energy.com/outages/map/triangle.htm). Although it may have just become an orange pentagon (indicating 251-1,000 homes without service).

By the way, looking at the maps also shows that western NC has it way way worse than us. Just to put things in perspective...

Ruby Sinreich's picture

I came home really thinking

I came home really thinking we were due to be back on. I even sat around for a couple of hours waiting for things to turn on.

Just as I packed my stuff to truck back out of the house in search of warmth and light, I noticed that the porch light was on! Village West is back on the grid!

Duke energy now says that 2,062 are without power, down from over 6,000 this morning. http://www.duke-energy.com/outages/stats/

How is it for everyone else out there? Who's still in the dark?

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Here's the latest town

Here's the latest town update:

Spring Storm Report #6

Motorists will have improved access through Chapel Hill on their commute home this Tuesday following extensive debris removal by Town crews and some electric power restoration.

With the trees and debris cleared from roads, electrical crews from Duke Energy were able to begin work in earnest today to restore power to parts of Chapel Hill. For updates on their progress, visit: http://www.duke-energy.com/news/

Streets Closed - Power Line Repairs
Rolling Road at S. Lakeshore Drive
Brookview Drive at Kenmore Road

Traffic Signals Not Functioning
(Treat intersections without lights as four-way stops. This is required by law for safety.)
- Rosemary Street/Hillsborough Street
- Fordham Boulevard/Eastowne Drive

Traffic Signals Powered by Generators
(Duke Energy in the Process of Restoring the Electricity)
- E. Franklin Street/Hillsborough Street
- E. Franklin Street/Boundary Street
- Fordham Boulevard/Willow Drive

Public Works crews will make every effort to assist residents in removing tree limbs and other yard debris that is left at curbs on the regular yard waste collection schedule. Yard waste is collected from Chapel Hill residences on Thursday (for residents on a Monday garbage collection schedule) and Friday (for residents with Tuesday garbage collection). For information, please call the Public Works Department at 968-2796.

Duke crews restored electricity at Chapel Hill Town Hall and the Parks and Recreation Department's administrative office on Plant Road this afternoon. Due to the outage, government meetings were rescheduled. The Chapel Hill Town Council public hearing that was originally scheduled for Monday night will be held tonight, and the Planning Board meeting has been rescheduled to April 25. Also rescheduled are Town special events to unveil new solar-powered signal lights at Ephesus Elementary and at Estes Hills Elementary and Phillips Middle schools. A new date for these events will be announced.

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