Sunday, June 16, 2024

CFCC says missing electrical equipment taken by Duke linemen during Florence was ‘honest mistake’

Duke Energy has agreed to replace electrical equipment that went missing after Hurricane Florence while thousands of its affiliated line workers were staged at CFCC's North Campus.

Electrical equipment went missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence at Cape Fear Community College. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — After Hurricane Florence hit last month, an undisclosed amount of electrical equipment went missing from Cape Fear Community College’s North Campus.

During the peak of the storm, over half the county was without power. Thousands of line workers were staged at Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) to help the region regain power.

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At some point, electrical equipment went missing, in what CFCC is calling an “honest mistake” on the part of visiting line workers.

Duke will replace items

Sonya Johnson, a spokesperson for CFCC, said the equipment was taken during a mixup.

“We do not believe that any equipment was purposely stolen,” Johnson wrote in an email.  “Rather, we think that in all the congestion, some equipment was misidentified as belonging to line workers.”

CFCC discovered that materials were missing from the campus’ new lineman training program during a post-storm review.

Johnson said the community college feels confident that the material was taken mistakenly. Duke Energy, in a move to rectify the situation, plans to replace all missing material. When asked, Johnson did not disclose the value of the missing items.

It appears the campus did not involve the authorities in conducting its post-storm review. Lt. Jerry Brewer, spokesperson for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, said his department had no knowledge of any incident at CFCC before, during or after the storm.

The campus is satisfied with their agreement with Duke Energy, Johnson said.

“We appreciate Duke Energy’s hard work during the storm, and we’re proud to be able to partner with them by providing a staging area for the response effort,” she said.

Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at

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