Power Coming Back On As Irma Cleanup Continues In WNC

Sep 12, 2017

Duke Energy reports around 8-thousand customers in Western North Carolina were without power at 10 Thursday morning after the remnants of Hurricane Irma passed through the region early Tuesday.  Most customers who do not have power may not get it restored until Friday evening.  A spokesperson for Duke says many of the remaining outages are spread out over a wide area and are very small, which is slowing the utility's progress.   Falling trees and branches which damaged Duke equipment are to blame for many of the remaining outages.  Counties hit hardest by the storm and resulting outages are Buncombe, Jackson, Macon, and Henderson Counties.  North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper visit the Cashiers area Wednesday afternoon to examine recovery efforts there.  He said WNC is not a region used to dealing with hurricanes, and said the response by authorities to Irma were good.  Cooper added he will seek federal disaster funds, but was not sure if they would be made available.  “We'll look to see what available resources that there are. I know that FEMA right now is strained with what is happening in Florida and Texas, and we're concerned about our recovery money from Hurricane Matthew", the governor said while in Cashiers.  "Obviously, we will be looking for ways to help, particularly with debris removal.”

Rainfall totals varied wildly for WNC.  The city of Asheville received around an inch according to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).  It's website shows areas in northeastern Henderson County, southeastern Buncombe County, and central Yancey County received over 5 inches of rain.  One collection site used by CoCoRaHS in Yancey County reported 8 inches of rain falling in the Pisgah National Forest near Mt. Mitchell.  To the west, rainfall was between 1 and 2 inches in Jackson and Macon Counties.