Equipment That Caused Kinston Power Failure May Have Been Defective

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Kinston Public Works Director Rhonda Barwick says defective equipment may be to blame for Wednesday night's power outage.

Rhonda Barwick says the 2 1/2 hour outage was due to a piece of equipment known as an arrester, which is designed to protect the equipment from lightning strikes and other weather related issues.

Barwick says they're supposed to last 50-years. The ones at the Rouse Road substation only lasted 13-years. The same problem there last March left 8,000 people in the dark.

Barwick says testing did not detect any problems with the equipment, leading to the suspicion they may have been defective.

Three new arresters at $3,000 each are now being installed.


Kinston Public Services says all power was restored just after 10:00 p.m. Wednesday.

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Kinston City Manager Tony Sears says an arrester failure at the Rouse Road substation caused Wednesday night's 2-3 hour power outage for about 2,000 customers. He expects power to be restored by about 10:15 p.m.

An arrester failure at the same substation caused an outage to about 8,000 customers March 14th.

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We checked on 2012 power outages in Kinston and found at least three widespread outages.

In January and again on March 14th a substation problem knocked out power to 8,000 customers each time. July 16th a tree knocked out power to 9,000 customers. 300 customers were left without power March 26th after a traffic accident.

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UPDATE: Kinston City Manager Tony Sears says 2,000 customers are affected by a power outage tonight. He says crews are trying to isolate the exact cause.

Several Kinston residents have told WITN power went out Wednesday night about 7:30 p.m., but we are working to find out the size of the outage. Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy is not sure yet, but says city crews are working on restoring power. Mayor Murphy says if you're power is out, please call the city at 252-939-3282 and submit your address. He also says treat all intersections with no lights as a four way stop.

One person reports the traffic light is out on Carey Road at the intersection of Plaza and North Herritage Street.

Stay tuned to WITN and for updates