City Hall loses power

By Tom Joyce -

City Hall was without power for most of Monday, including its telephones and computers, due to a problem believed to have been weather-related.

However, the 911 emergency system was not threatened due to the presence of a backup source, according to City Manager Barbara Jones. “They had communication through the backup with that,” she said. “So if individuals had an emergency, they could communicate.”

The problem was linked to one of the electrical feeder lines coming in to the Municipal Building on South Main Street. That line carries power to the city government’s mainframe system including computers and telephones.

“So we were offline until around 2:30 or so,” the city manager related.

City Hall normally is able to rely on a generator for backup power, but it also went out, Jones said.

That led her to contact Surry County Emergency Services Director John Shelton, who sent a replacement generator to the Municipal Building.

“We weren’t sure we could get ours working, so I called Johnny and within a few minutes he had a backup here ready to be connected,” Jones explained.

Meanwhile, Phil and John Marsh with a local electrical company “worked hard all day” and got the city’s generator back up and Duke Energy also was on the scene trying to restore the power. Debbie Post and others with the city’s information technology division also were part of that mix.

“It’s been great to see everyone come together,” Jones said of their collective efforts.

Duke Energy personnel were slated to turn off the generator at 5 p.m. Monday to work on, and hopefully repair, the problem with the line, the city manager said.

She was optimistic that City Hall would be back to normal Tuesday.

“And I hope we didn’t have any citizens inconvenienced by this problem,” Jones added.

She thinks the large volume of water from rainfall occurring in the city Sunday and early Monday possibly affected the power line even though it is underground.

The city manager said Duke Energy personnel advised her that if there is an issue with a line, the water will cause it to show up quicker.

By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.