FIRST ON WITN: Major Power Outage In Kinston

Power is gradually being restored to Kinston residents after a major power outage shortly after 6:00 a.m.

At the height of the outage, 8-thousand homes and businesses, or 75% of the city was in the dark.

Public Services Director Rhonda Barwick says a jumper failed near the Hull road substation, causing damage to spread out onto a distribution line into the system. Rouse Road was closed as crews worked to fix the damage.

Barwick says by 7:00 a.m. all but a thousand customers were back on, while by noon only the Caswell Research Center was without power.

Power went out to thousands of people as temperatures reached 18° in the city. Some people reported seeing multiple blue flashes before the power went out. Some lights then dimmed, before finally going out.

At the intersection of West Vernon Avenue and Hull Road this morning, traffic lights remain out while in front of the fire station on Hull Road crews are working to repair a downed line.

Residents of the city are no strangers to losing power. Back in October half of the city was put in the dark when a lightning storm knocked out six of the city's eight substations. Then during Hurricane Irene the entire city was without power, which took days to restore.

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Power went out for a significant part of Kinston in Lenoir County on one of the coldest mornings of the year.

The outage appeared to extend from Vernon Ave. north. Residents lost power around 6:10 a.m. A blue flash was reported before the lights went out.

Law enforcement scanners reported a transformer on Herritage St. blew.

We're told downtown Kinston currently has power.

Parrott Academy had called in a two hour delay, but now says the power is back on there. They are going to start on time.

A resident on the northwest side of Kinston called WITN at 7:15 a.m. and reported their power had just been restored.

Mayor BJ Murphy "tweeted" WITN's Heather King that "most have their power on now. No official word yet." We will continue to keep you posted on this breaking news.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2012 at 01:14 PM
    The great BJ Murphy claimed he would "hold Electricities feet to the fire" when he was campaigning. So much for the claims of the "boy blunder."
  • by Nick Location: Albertson on Jan 4, 2012 at 12:36 PM
    What we really need to do is ELECT someone who can solve the ELECTricity problems.
  • by cozy and warm Location: ENC on Jan 4, 2012 at 09:27 AM
    Have electric heat. Then, have a backup LP heater I used briefly this morning that rocks! Also have two five horsepower generators. It's best to be prepared. The electric grid is fragile. The Chinese have already hacked into the software that controls it. If I want to freeze my hiney off, will go backpacking in the mountains.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jan 4, 2012 at 08:10 AM
    If you had a power surge and it ruined any of your appliances be sure to file a claim with the city of kinston. high as they charge for utilities make them pay for your loss.
  • by Clueless on Jan 4, 2012 at 07:33 AM
    Really, a "refund". Isn't your bill based on what you use (mine is) so how can you get a "refund". I mean just saying. Plus I mean really move if you don't like it. Maybe Farmville? Oh that's right they don't like the cost either. Greenville? I mean where would you move? Progress Energy has had 2 outages in one month in this area (and yes I'm on Progress Energy) and well, it happens. Let me guess, your cable never goes out, your internet always works, your smartphone is always perfect. It's technology and life. Nothing is perfect all the time. Just my little insignificant thoughts that I'm sure will get blasted after they post. Have a great day everyone!
    • reply
      by really? you mean? on Jan 4, 2012 at 08:24 AM in reply to Clueless
      All I want to blast is your repeated use of "I mean". I agree with your opinion, though!
  • by matt on Jan 4, 2012 at 06:36 AM
    With what they charge to provide it, they should give a refund for it being off. Furthermore, if the price of it isnt bad enough, the unreliablity of it unreal.
    • reply
      by Vince on Jan 4, 2012 at 08:56 AM in reply to matt
      They are giving refunds..... 100% refund for all electricity you used and paid for while the power was out.
  • by ups Location: kinston on Jan 4, 2012 at 03:37 AM
    Its back on
    • reply
      by Ron on Jan 4, 2012 at 08:31 AM in reply to ups
      I think your comment sucks!I was on City of Kinston power for seven years,my bills averaged over $375 monthly.I am now on progress energy and my bills average about $125 monthly.
      • reply
        by Alan on Jan 4, 2012 at 09:42 AM in reply to Ron
        City of Kinston utilities and taxes stink. Just moved recently. BYE BYE Ktown!
      • reply
        by Differences on Jan 8, 2012 at 06:42 AM in reply to Ron
        The rates are cheaper at Progress Energy, but also it's a different home you are living in & probably more energy efficient than the last.... Bottom line is, rates vary from place to place but YOU control your electric consumption.

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