NEW INFO: Kinston's Third Major Power Outage In Five Months

For the third time in five months, the power went out to thousands of customers in Kinston.

Kinston Public Services Director Rhonda Barwick told WITN's Heather King that the most recent problem was at the Rouse Road Substation. Barwick said there was a problem with a piece of equipment called an arrester there, which can be compared to a surge protector. She said part of the material inside the arrester had worn down over time, causing it to malfunction.

The lights went out just after 9 p.m. to 8,000 homes and businesses in Kinston. That's about two-thirds of the city. Barwick says power was restored at 10:40 p.m.

Crews will be working to replace the part today. In order to restore power as quickly as possible Wednesday night, crews diverted power around the substation.

Barwick said most of 96 minutes of the power outage was spent trying to pinpoint what the problem was and where.

This marks the third major power outage in Kinston since October. That's when half the city lost power; lightning knocked out six of the city's eight substations.

Eight thousand customers lost power in January due to the failure of a jumper at the Hull Road Substation. The temperature dipped to 18 degrees that morning.

Kinston also lost power for days following Hurricane Irene last August.

While some customers were complaining about the frequent outages, Barwick said the city cannot do anything about weather-related outages or pieces of equipment that fail. She did say crews check the city's substations weekly, and there was no indication the arrestor was going to fail. She says an outside contractor checked on the Hull Road substation last week and will check the others soon.


Previous story:
A major power outage is over for a city that seems to have more than their fair share of them lately.

Officials say the power was fully restored at 10:40 Wednesday night. It was out for one hour thirty six minutes.

Still now word on what caused the outage.


Previous story:

We're told most power is now back on in Kinston and Lenoir County.

The outage happened around 9:20 p.m. By around 11:00 p.m. Mayor B.J. Murphy said most power was restored.

Officials were still working to find the cause.

Stay with WITN & witn.com for updates.


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  • by La Location: Grange on Mar 16, 2012 at 02:02 AM
    La Grange is just as Bad. The Warmest Winter I can remember and light bill still around $280 to $300 a Month. I have Progress Energy in my front yard and they(Town of La Grange) will not release me to hook up with them. The most Money Hungry Town I have ever lived in. Thanks LA!!
  • by Pete Location: Grifton on Mar 15, 2012 at 03:07 PM
    To: Jeff judge turner need's to wipe his mouth with toilet paper.Enough said?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 11:59 AM
    Mr. Obama! We need a bailout!!! (Free) power to the people!
    • reply
      by Free Power on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM in reply to
      Yes, free.....we'll take it out of your account first.
  • by these comments are simply unreal!! on Mar 15, 2012 at 09:30 AM
    Since it seems obvious that no one has a memory that reaches back 6 months, please let me remind everyone that a very serious hurricane hit this area extremely hard in August--do you think all those destroyed power lines, poles, transformers, and multitudes of small parts replace themselves magically??? What a bunch of whiners--awww, so you actually had to stop watching tv or playing video games for a few hours, maybe you actually had to speak with your children or parents. Get a grip on reality, people
    • reply
      by Real on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM in reply to these comments are simply unreal!!
      We have endured many years of Kinston Utilities outages and the over priced non-services we receive well outside the city limits. All while our neighbors around us enjoy real services and lower rates. In 20yrs I have never felt I've recieved my monies worth from anything coming from the City of Kinston. Much of my family live in or near this sad excuse of a town, while I do like the people of Kinston, I despise the City Government and Public Works. Power outages come as no shock to those who are trapped under Kinston Utilities. If the housing market wasn’t so bad I’d sell my house and move/build just to get away from them. Awful doesn’t begin to explain how bad the cost and service is. With the rates we pay, the equipment should be state of the art and a lineman posted 24/7 at every transformer or substation. I have a reason to whine
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 01:12 PM in reply to Real
        You are right. Our esteemed mayor swore that he would " hold Electricities' feet to the fire" before he was elected. Of course, we all know how that has gone.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 01:04 PM in reply to these comments are simply unreal!!
      Fine, then you pay our bills since you know so much. How much did the "little boy" mayor pay you to say this?
    • reply
      by To: these comments are simply unreal! on Mar 15, 2012 at 01:25 PM in reply to these comments are simply unreal!!
      So tell us know-it-all, how did you spend your time during the outage?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 01:30 PM in reply to these comments are simply unreal!!
      So, if that is the case, ALL cities and towns that were hit by Irene would be having the same electrical problems. No, these parts did not fix themselves magically, other towns took preventative measures to keep this from happening. How many power outages have there been in Greenville, new Bern, Goldsboro? This IS IS IS a kinston problem.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 07:15 AM
    Raise the rates! Hire more do-nothing cronies! Do you want the terrorists to win?
  • by matt on Mar 15, 2012 at 06:46 AM
    What a joke. I'm speechless. Is nobody held accountable anymore?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:30 AM in reply to matt
      what exatly do you want them to do Matt? things break, parts wear out. get a life
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 09:43 AM in reply to
        i think the third "major" outage in a five month period constitutes a problem. Notice the word major - it doesnt say how many minor ones they've had.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:27 AM in reply to
        If they are going to have such high rates, they should provide exemplary service.
  • by Mad Max Location: Snow Hill on Mar 15, 2012 at 06:44 AM
    Kinston has electricity?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 06:21 AM
    Firrfighters again?
  • by Scott on Mar 15, 2012 at 04:20 AM
    This is the WORST ran city I have ever seen. From the sitting judge being convicted of DUI all the way to the corrupt sheriff's office narc det. selling drugs! They both put MANY citizens away for doing what they do! The bills for the power in Kinston is obsured! Tri county electric has and average bill of about 80 bucks! Progress energy is about 130, city of kinston? Try about 230! I know of 3 houses within 3 miles of each other and each on one of the 3! This makes no sense!
    • reply
      by Inform you!! on Mar 15, 2012 at 07:03 AM in reply to Scott
      Let me tell you something Scott.....The judge you speak of is not a "CITY" judge (there is no such thing) he is a judge that presides over several counties. What does the City have to do with the Sheriffs office (it is county)? The "narc det" (oh let me spell that for you since you evidently can't it is Narcotics Detective) that you talk about was not even an employee at the Sheriffs office when he was "selling drugs" as you said. I am not sure how this all ties into the worst ran city. Yes I will agree with you that the city has high electricty rates, but this does not mean the city is the worst run city. I am not sure where you got your numbers from or where you have found three houses within three miles of each other and each house has one of the three listed power companies but I am not believing it. Maybe you need to do less talking about stuff you don't know about and more house hunting in a place that you feel is being ran more adequately. You know what they say right?... If you don't like something change it or get away from it. By the way talking about it up here is not changing a thing.
      • reply
        by Scott on Mar 15, 2012 at 07:40 AM in reply to Inform you!!
        2800 block of falling creek- tri county elec. Wheat wheat swamp rd by 258 progress energy, hwy 258 when it hit kinston, city of kinston power. You need to check your numbers hero! The judge, yeah not a city judge but he presides over kinston? Right? Yeah thats what I thought. Clay Keel, dirty, been dirty, sheriff may be county but he has been involved in many many "kinston" bust! Check your numbers! Oh yeah, is far as he quit then started selling drugs, ha! believe that if you want to! You make it sound like he quit his job to sell drugs! If he did well that only shows how smart our det. are! And worst ran city! yeah, you got van braxton assualting citizens!!!! Then you got the whole forced annexation going on! Just ask the residents who are doing everything in their power to stay out of the city!!!! By the way, My wife and I did! We moved to goldsboro! Oh yeah, I love how they fixed the traffic problem at walmart!!!!!! hahahahahahahahah!
      • reply
        by Scott on Mar 15, 2012 at 07:44 AM in reply to Inform you!!
        By the way, I NEVER said he was a "city" judge. I said sitting judge. As in residing judge. So please remove your quotation marks around "city" as if your quoting me. Because your not!
        • reply
          by Inform you!! on Mar 15, 2012 at 09:19 AM in reply to Scott
          Nope you never said city judge, but you are blaming the "city" for the problems you expressed. No I was not quoting you I was emphasising the point you blame the "city" for stuff that has nothing to do with the "city". If I was quoting you I would have used what you said word for word.
      • reply
        by WOW on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:32 AM in reply to Inform you!!
        He didn't say it was a "City" judge. The whole area is sad! I live in Lenoir County, but thank God, not Kinston. People from all around laugh at Kinston and it's embarassing. I have Tri-County and they are great. I couldn't imagine paying such a high price to live in such a low city!!!
        • reply
          by WOW on Mar 15, 2012 at 09:56 AM in reply to WOW
          As I said he did not, but he is blaming the city for stuff that has nothing to do with the CITY!!
        • reply
          by Scott on Mar 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM in reply to WOW
          Thanks wow! This person has no idea what they are talking about. There are three power companies clustered together, no matter what inform you thinks! My mother in laws home, I lived on wheat swamp for a while, then our friends lived on 258N, all withen 3 miles! I guess they cant stand to be wrong. Also, no one cares what they went to school for! It's all the city of kinston! They have billboards with the city council and phone numbers dogging them out! I've never seen anything like it! Nothing is the cities fault? haha!
      • reply
        by Scott on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:57 AM in reply to Inform you!!
        You can travel a 3 mile radius from Falling Creek rd to wheat swamp to 258 north. All 3 on the seperate power companies. FACT. Check your numbers. Let's see where to start. You got Van Braxton assulating citizens, the wonderful traffic fix at the walmart(my personal favorite)The officer charged with selling drugs has been dirty for a long time. Just ask the Hetzels! My wife and I moved to Goldsboro a long time ago because of all of this. Oh yes, lets not forget the forced annexation! Why dont you ask the residents why they are fighting with all their might to stay OUT of the city of Kinston! Yes Kinston! Were on the way! Way to what? Turning your power off! You should do a little looking into things before you open your mouth.
        • reply
          by Inform You!! on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM in reply to Scott
          Where to start with all this? I will start with asking what numbers I need to check your quote "Check your numbers" has no leg to stand on because I did not list numbers like you did. Next I will move on to Falling Creek Rd and Wheat Swamp Rd all I ahve to say is check the miles. Now I will move on to Van Braxton he may live here but he is a representative of your "city". Sorry but I will not be asking the Hetzels anything, because I have no need to be in their business. Next I will touch on the fact that the DOT makes the call on the traffic fix you speak of and they are not run by the city it is the STATE. Most people that live outside the city limits do not want to be annexed into any city not just Kinston. Hello why would you want to pay city and county tax. I have looked before I opened my mouth, and I hope you and your wife have a blessed life in Goldsboro even if you are all up in Kinstons business like you miss it here. Oh and by the way I can do this all day, I went to school for it.
      • reply
        by Now Now on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM in reply to Inform you!!
        I think you must have a soft spot for Suckton NC.
        • reply
          by Inform You!! on Mar 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM in reply to Now Now
          No I do not have a soft spot for Suckton NC as you have called it, but I do have a problem with people playing the blame game. To be honest with you I would not move to a house that the city of Kinston Supplied power to if I could help it. With that being said, just becasue I don't like the city of Kinstons rates does not mean I am going to blame all that is wrong in the County or anywhere else for that matter on the CITY.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:13 AM in reply to Scott
      Seems like a conflict of interest down there.
      • reply
        by Jeff on Mar 15, 2012 at 09:10 AM in reply to
        Oh it is a conflict of intrest. You cant be a truck driver with no DL, so how can you be a criminal and be a judge? Look, I actually like Judge Caraway. He's a good judge. I would rather stand before him then Les Turner any day. Thats still a moot point. If his DUI was prior to sitting on the bench, thats one thing. But to be an active judge is another. He should have lost his job the day he was convicted. PERIOD. I can name a hundred jobs your disqualified from for getting a DUI, or lose once convicted of one, how is Judge not one of them?
  • by SimonSez Location: Kinston on Mar 15, 2012 at 02:40 AM
    It's pretty bad that we, the tortured folks living in Kinston, have to pay a premium price & then some for electricity then have to go through extended periods without any regularly. It's especially bad in my case because I rely on an oxygen generator just to breathe/live. Can you image the anxiety you'd have to lose your source of oxygen & not know when you'll get it back? Granted you have an "emergency" tank for that purpose but that will only last so long. It causes a LOT of undo stress.
    • reply
      by So... on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:34 PM in reply to SimonSez
      Make your own electricity. Buy solar panels, buy a generator. Build an energy efficient home. Quit watching TV, using a computer, playing video games. Buy candles, open your windows and turn off the A/C. There is no law stating that you MUST buy electricity. Even the phone system (which doesn't require electricity to operate) isn't something you absolutely must have to live.
      • reply
        by Idiot on Mar 16, 2012 at 01:59 AM in reply to So...
        Phone does require Electricity!! It take 90 AC to Operate. Look on the sides of the road when you see an Embarq Building. Better yet hold your phones bare wires when it ring and tell me want that SHOCK is. Duh!!
      • reply
        by Donna on Mar 16, 2012 at 03:57 AM in reply to So...
        So in your world it's really that simple???Last time I looked solar panels, generators, and building a new home was expensive. I'm guessing that since SimonSez is on oxygen, he must be on some type of disability. I very seriously doubt if he receives a lot of money. And depending on what type of phone you have, yes it does require an electrical source unless it has battery backup. I hope you are never in his situation. But if you find yourself there, take your own advise.
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