03/02/07 — Heavy winds turn out lights around area this morning

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Heavy winds turn out lights around area this morning

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 2, 2007 1:50 PM

Thousands of Wayne County residents had to get up and get ready for school and work this morning in the dark after stormy weather left large sections of the county without power for several hours.

Little damage was reported around the county except for fallen tree limbs, according to county emergency officials, but as many as 14,000 households were without power, Progress Energy operations manager Keith Westbrook said.

The front, a remnant of the powerful storm that wracked portions of the Midwest and Southeast late Thursday, came through about 5:30 a.m., Westbrook said.

Weather spotters at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base said wind speeds reached 57 mph.

Westbrook said the wind knocked down a transmission structure on Hood Swamp Road. The structure fed two substations, at Belfast and Langston, that serve heavily populated areas of the county, he noted.

The majority of power was restored by 9 a.m., Westbrook said.

He added that he still expected to receive calls from some customers who had a tree or limb fall on a circuit that feeds their houses.

Wayne County Emer-gency Services received a few calls this morning, but most were concerning power outages and fallen tree limbs. But crews did respond to a tree that fell and blocked a road in Seven Springs and several fallen tree limbs in the Indian Springs area, Wayne County Emergency Medical Services Manager Blair Tyndall said.

"For the most part, it was nothing unusual. It was just your normal thunderstorm activity," he said.