Hundreds more lose power on Saturday


By Jeff Linville - jlinville@mtairynews.com



This weekend’s winter storm put thousands of homes out of power as work crews have been busy trying to repair the damage from falling trees and limbs.

On Friday afternoon, 9-1-1 calls poured in to the C-Comm headquarters about traffic accidents. By 5 p.m. that day, the EMS, Highway Patrol and local authorities had responded to 47 accident. John Shelton, emergency services director, said 11 people required transport to the hospital for treatment, with three going to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Whenever a snow storm hits in the middle of the day like that, there are a lot more wrecks, said Shelton. People are caught at work or out running errands and have to get home.

Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. as people were getting in and staying put, the traffic calls dropped off, he said.

Then it became a matter of keeping power going.

On Friday evening, Shelton said 800 homes were without power across the county. As work crews moved to restore electricity, other tree branches and trunks fell and took out power at other locations.

Shelton said when he talked to Duke Power on Saturday morning, the crews had restored electricity to all but about 300 homes during the night.

Additional snow on Saturday, accompanied with the prolonged time the weight of the snow was on the trees, caused further downed limbs and trees that created new outages. Around 3 p.m., Shelton said the number was up to about 1,500, with Duke Power saying 950 and Surry-Yadkin EMC the other 550.

Some folks need medical equipment to stay alive, so the county keeps some power generators on hand in case of emergency, said Shelton. The EMS did need to use one of those generators to provide life support to a patient.

There were other medical calls, including a couple of bad falls on ice during the night, but not that bad, he said.

A couple of accidents involved deer jumping out in front of cars, including one EMS vehicle. Shelton said there was minimal damage to the rubber bumper from a deer running out onto U.S. 601 near Smith Road in the White Plains area. The struck deer was able to flee the scene.

With the overnight low down to 22 degrees, Shelton warned drivers to look for black ice this morning. The melting snow could refreeze and cause dangerous patches here and there.

Some church services could be canceled today. WXII News 12 keeps a running list of area cancellations at www.wxii12.com.

By Jeff Linville

jlinville@mtairynews.com

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

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