NEW INFO: GUC Says Gunfire Caused Power Outage

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

Greenville Utilities believes Thursday's widespread power outage was caused by someone shooting at utility poles.

The outage to about 16,000 customers was caused by damage to two insulators on a transmission line going to a substation on MacGregor Downs Road.

The damaged insulators, which are about 3-1/2 feet long, caused a 115,000 volt line to fall onto another line, shorting out the system.

Roger Jones, GUC's Director of Electric Systems, says there was also damage to the porcelain on another insulator on an adjacent power pole. Jones says it happened in a wooded area in the Frog Level community, only accessible by a four-wheel drive vehicle.

The utility has turned evidence over to the Pitt County Sheriff's Office who is now investigating the vandalism.

Customers affected were primarily in the Southwest portion of Pitt County and lost power at approximately 4:36 p.m. Thursday. GUC Spokeswoman Sue Hatch says the majority of customers had power restored by 5:05 p.m., and the rest had power restored around 6:00 p.m.

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Greenville Utilities says the cause of an outage to thousands of customers involved damage to insulators on a transmission line.

GUC Spokeswoman Sue Hatch says the problem was
isolated and power was restored to the majority of customers in about 22 minutes by switching to other lines.

Hatch says about 16,000 customers were affected in the following areas: Red Oak, County Home Road, NC 33 east, NC 43 North, NC 33 west, Arlington Blvd., Charles St., Dickinson Ave., Bell Arthur, Ballards Crossroad, and Corey Road.

Hatch says all customers were expected to have power back around 6:00pm.
Thousands of Greenville Utilities customers were powerless for about a half hour this afternoon.

GUC spokeswoman Sue Hatch says a main substation at MacGregor Downs went down, affecting about 16,000 customers. The outage happened around 4:35 p.m. and the majority of customers had power restored by 5:05 p.m.

Hatch says they don't know yet what caused the outage.

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  • by Anonymous on Aug 15, 2011 at 05:17 PM
    Something smells!!!!!!!!
  • by PoorBabyKristie on Aug 12, 2011 at 07:53 PM
    Awww...poor thing Kristie. Sounds like you are the unhappy one so why should Mama move? If you read the article you would see that the power outage was not GUCs fault. You need to be thankful you have power and that GUC was able to restore power so quickly.
    • reply
      by Joe on Aug 13, 2011 at 09:18 AM in reply to PoorBabyKristie
      awww...why don't you take a hike. who cares who's fault it was? it don't matter!
  • by 1000 volts Location: g-ville on Aug 12, 2011 at 05:51 PM
    I had just turned on my stereo when the power suddenly went off. I thought maybe we'd been hit by and EMP. Greenville has enuff terrorists already haha!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 12, 2011 at 03:38 PM
    Whomever did this needs to be caught and prosecuted fully. This has far-reaching implications, the idea that one yahoo can shut down power to 16,000 residents is scary. Spare no resources on this investigation!
  • by Kill The Coal. on Aug 12, 2011 at 02:49 PM
    Obama/AlGore trying to save the planet while you sweat to death.
    • reply
      by Coal's Killing You on Aug 12, 2011 at 04:57 PM in reply to Kill The Coal.
      More like the Tea Party trying another trick to shut down the economy.
  • by Mama Location: Greenville on Aug 12, 2011 at 01:17 PM
    Just want to say THANKS to the employees at GUC for all you do. For those of you who have used this site to complain...Why don't you move to another area. Then you can have a lot more power outages to deal with. GUC is one of the few places that will restore power at anytime of day...even to those who repeatedly fail to pay their bills on time.
    • reply
      by Kristie on Aug 12, 2011 at 02:40 PM in reply to Mama
      Ok mama since GUC has done so much for you why don't you become an ambassador and help others who haven't had such a pleasant experience with your lovely GUC power company? Why don't you move instead of telling other folks to move? You folks seem to think that just because these people provide electricity that they're capable of no wrong.
      • reply
        by thomas on Dec 30, 2011 at 01:30 PM in reply to Kristie
        I do have respect for GUC, now if you want to bash talk. I think you might want to: cut your wattage down, try turning your thermostat down to 65, or Just quit complaning...
  • by cover up Location: Pitt on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:00 AM
    Jones says it happened in a wooded area in the Frog Level community.The outage was caused by damage to two insulators on a transmission line going to a substation on MacGregor Downs Road. Do you know how far apart Frog Level and McGrregor downs are? Please tell us more or is there another cover up going on.
    • reply
      by CoverupisRight on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:16 AM in reply to cover up
      This outage affected 16000 people. I think we the people deserve a better explanation as to why we lost power.
      • reply
        by yep on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:38 AM in reply to CoverupisRight
        Only accessible by a four-wheel drive vehicle. Maybe someone was walking or riding a ATV. Is it really this hard? Nobody working saw anything?
  • by David R. Location: Pitt County on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM
    After just reading about how Duke energy plans to bump up their rates to recoups fuel costs?!!? What makes you people think that GUC can't or won't do the same thing? There comes a point when you have to draw a line. I guess some people are happy with rate hikes and increases as long as they can watch their favorite programs. Brainwashed!
    • reply
      by rogelio on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM in reply to David R.
      Not brainwashed, i just use very little electricity, i dont have a problem with a $140 light bill during a heat wave. maybe ya'll need to bump that thermostat up to 80............beleive me it wont be the end of the world. the key is humidity, 80 deg. with low humidity feels great, 75 deg. with 80% humidity is nasty.
  • by Greg Location: Greenville on Aug 12, 2011 at 09:50 AM
    Did deer season start early this year? Yahooooooo load up the guns & dog boxes get some beer and less roll
  • by local Location: Greenville on Aug 12, 2011 at 08:25 AM
    Nice, but just remember...THE CRIME IS DOWN!!!
    • reply
      by Polly on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM in reply to local
      lol. yep i hadn't heard about a robbery in greenville since two minutes ago
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