Saturday, March 2, 2024

What the heck was that? Duke Energy investigating today’s brief but widespread Wilmington blackout

The blackout lasted less than four minutes before Duke was able to repair it, however the company still isn't sure what exactly caused the outage.

Late Thursday morning, thousands in the Wilmington area were suddenly without power --- and then, just as suddenly, it was back. (Port City Daily photo / Duke Progress)
Late Wednesday morning, thousands in the Wilmington area were suddenly without power — and then, just as suddenly, it was back. (Port City Daily photo / Duke Progress)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Late Wednesday morning, a widespread blackout caught the region by surprise; mere minutes later, power was restored, leaving residents in the Wilmington area to ask: what the heck was the that?

The outage happened at 11:06 a.m. on Wednesday, and took out power to about 58,690 Wilmington-area customers, according to Ana Gibbs, a senior communications consultant for Duke Energy.

The outage likely affected most of Wilmington’s approximate 120,000 residents, and other outages throughout the county and even as far south as Southport were reported. Cell service was also interrupted, apparently by the power outage to cell towers throughout the area.

According to Gibbs, “a transmission line locked out – basically experienced a problem – at 11:06 a.m. and was restored at 11:08 a.m.”

The line was restored remotely by Duke Energy, but the utility company still doesn’t know what caused the brief but widespread blackout. Gibbs said Duke is currently investigating the issue.

“While this was a short outage, Duke Energy understands that energy is a vital part of everyone’s daily life and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” Gibbs added.

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