December 10, 2023
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By WRAL Severe Weather Center
In Durham, more than 9,000 Duke Energy customers were without power on Thursday. Severe thunderstorms swept through North Carolina on Tuesday.

After severe weather rolled through Durham two days ago, more than 9,000 Duke Energy customers were without power on Thursday.

As a result of ongoing repairs and extensive damage caused by Tuesday’s deadly storms, Durham Public Schools will remain closed Thursday for students.

The district announced that DPS employees will be on a two-hour delay on Thursday. High school athletic practices will continue as usual.

Electricity was restored on Thursday, but crews encountered downed lines and trees on equipment as they worked to restore power.

Traffic lights were out on Thursday at the intersection of Interstate 85 and Roxboro Road, posing a danger to some drivers.

Residents of the Oxford Manor housing community are still without power less than 10 minutes away.

WRAL News has heard from several people whose groceries have gone bad, and one woman had to call an ambulance twice to get her grandmother oxygen.

A resident said, “She ran out of oxygen. She has three oxygen tanks, and they only last an hour each.”

It has been two days without air conditioning for the resident and her family, and they are just hoping for relief as soon as possible.

According to Duke Energy, the power should be restored by 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Streetlights that are out should be treated as four-way stops by drivers.

There are still thousands of people without power on Thursday

More than 12,900 customers were without power across the state at noon on Thursday. More than 9,000 outages were reported in Durham, down from 10,111 at 4:30 a.m.

More than 100,000 North Carolina customers lost power as a result of Tuesday’s deadly storms.

Near the Duke Park neighborhood, at the intersection of Markham and Washington streets, an entire neighborhood was still without power Wednesday afternoon, and neighbors walked around the block to relieve themselves of the heat. After a hot day with temperatures reaching 90 degrees in North Carolina, more than 30,000 customers were still without power Wednesday night.

Several homes and buildings were damaged by Tuesday’s storms, including a 32-car crash on Interstate 40. Sky 5 flew over Durham and Chapel Hill Wednesday morning to assess the damage.

Several Durham residents told WRAL News that they plan to eat lunch at restaurants on Wednesday so they can charge their phones and enjoy the air conditioning.

Radar estimates wind speeds as high as 92 mph on Tuesday, but those were measured several hundred feet above ground. A 72-mph wind gust was recorded on the roof of Duke Hospital around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Duke Energy’s Jeff Brooks, around 1,000 backup crew members were brought in from other parts of the state and even South Carolina.

“Our forces have been doubled between here and Greensboro, and it will give us a boost to address these outages,” Brooks said. “We know it’s hot, and we know people want their power restored.”

To reduce the risk of electric shock, Brooks warned everyone to assume a downed power line is active.

When you clean up debris in your yard, make sure there are no buried objects.

Residents of Durham are left to pick up the pieces

Flora O’Brien’s driveway and front door were blocked by power lines after Tuesday’s storm knocked out her power.

O’Brien said it was draped over the tree.

In order to get essentials, including ice, O’Brien went in and out of her neighbor’s yard.

The Co-Op, Food Lion, and Harris Teeter are closed, and there is no ice,” O’Brien said.

Sarah Peveler found a generator nearby on Anderson Street.

Peveler explained, “I got a full propane tank and a full gas tank from a friend.”.

For now, power is keeping a full load of groceries from going bad.

One block away from some of the worst damage are the homes of O’Brien and Peveler.

After crews pulled this tree off the top, Shannon Reavis finally got to her car on Wednesday.

The situation doesn’t appear to be the worst compared to others, she said.

He said it was raining so hard Tuesday night that his family couldn’t see the tree that struck their home.

“We heard the smash, and then, I came in here because I heard water, and right here, you can see, probably a branch, crashed down,” Gray recalled.

To stop the water from dripping in, neighbors on Barenwood Circle brought over a ladder and a tarp.

“Everyone pulled together well,” Gray said. “We don’t have a chainsaw, but other people have one.”

As Tim Darr helps clean up, he is running on fumes.

“I sleep with a CPAP mask, and I didn’t have it that night,” Darr said.

Residents of Wake County begin storm damage cleanup

Currently, Sue Keith Woodlief is repairing her home in her Wake County community, where she has lived for 70 years.

“My tree cutter friend came to my rescue, and I have another friend who is a roofer,” Woodlief said.

According to Woodlief, Tuesday’s storm was worse than Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and Hurricane Fran in 1996.

It was the worst we’ve ever experienced, Woodlief said.

For 38 years, Eddie Peoples has worked for Wake Electric power cooperative.

“I’ve seen [Hurricane] Katrina and Hurricane Fran, but I’ve never seen a severe thunderstorm like this,” Peoples said.

Seven power poles along Creedmoor Road were knocked down by Tuesday’s storm.

Tammy Davis heard hail on Tuesday. She said it was pine cones flying off trees hitting the roof.

The home Davis has rented since 1999 had trees crash through her bedroom.

“You always wonder why people don’t get these things, but you don’t consider grabbing all that stuff when something like that happens,” Davis said. “All I thought about was my dogs.”

Davis said she and her dogs are fine. She said she is looking for a place to stay.

“If they can’t fix it, I’m going to have to move, and I have no idea where I’m going or how I’m going to do it,” Davis said.

Damage caused by severe storms across the Triangle

As a result of Tuesday’s storms, crashes, outages, downed trees, and damaged homes were reported across the Triangle.

Over 100,000 power outages were reported across central North Carolina during the storms.

Storms in Durham knocked out power to more than 68,000 customers.

A tree fell on a home near High Point, causing more than 15,000 customers to lose power in Guilford County.

As a result of the damage, multiple roads in Durham were closed due to downed trees.

There were seven structures damaged in the storms, according to Orange County Emergency Services, and large trees were damaged on homes in the Orange Grove area.

Many families will take longer to recover from this storm, Orange County EMS said.

The storm also damaged homes in Raleigh and Durham.

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