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. Many in the Cherokee area were without power on the morning of Thursday, June 16.
According to Duke Energy, as of Friday morning, power has been restored to almost 8,000 homes in Jackson and Swain Counties who were without it since Wednesday night. But, some are still without including 5,758 in Jackson County and 3,968 in Swain County.
Duke reported that almost 18,000 homes were without power in those two counties (Jackson 9,681 and Swain 7,791) on Thursday morning following the storm the night before.
“The damages are scattered,” said Betsy Conway, Duke Energy spokesperson, on Thursday morning. “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.