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.
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.
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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