UPDATED 6-16-11 at 2:57pm
By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Storms with high winds and lightning moved through the area the night of Wednesday, June 15 causing massive power outages throughout Jackson and Swain counties.
According to Duke Energy, as of Thursday morning, a total of 9,681 in Jackson County are without power and a total of 7,791 in Swain County are without power.
Duke Energy reported this afternoon (Thursday, June 16) that it expects to have power restored in Jackson County by 11pm tonight. Power is not expected to be restored to Swain County until Sunday, June 19 at 11pm.
“The damages are scattered,” said Betsy Conway, Duke Energy spokesperson. “We did have crews working throughout the night and we have crews out assessing the damages this morning.”
She said the crews are still in the assessment phase trying to get an accurate gauge on the full extent of damages.
“Crews will be working as quickly and safely as they can to restore power,” said Conway.
To report a power outage to Duke Power, call 1-800-POWERON (769-3766).
Several tribal programs and buildings were without power on Thursday morning.
David Wachacha, EBCI Emergency Management program, related that the Emergency Operations Center was activated as of Thursday morning and that Emergency Management program staff was currently performing wellness checks on the elderly and homebound. He related that staff is also out doing damage assessments throughout the reservation.
Wachacha commented that there were no major injuries or fatalities that they were aware of.