Duke Energy cuts power for over 15K in west Charlotte to rescue man from top of 85-foot tall electrical transmission tower

A man climbed on top of the tower above an intersection near I-77 at Wallingford Drive and Woodlawn Road.
Nations Crossing Man On Utility Tower
Nations Crossing Man On Utility Tower(WBTV)
Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 2:40 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Around 15-20,000 Duke Energy customers lost power in west Charlotte on Sunday afternoon after CMPD told the company to cut off power in order to rescue a man who climbed on top of an electrical transmission tower.

CMPD said the man seemed to be “impaired” or “delusional” in some way as he climbed to the top of the 85-foot electrical tower with six power lines each carrying 115,000 volts.

As officers arrived on the scene just before 2 p.m., they attempted to talk with the man who was approximately 70 feet up the tower. While officers were communicating, he climbed another 15-20 feet to the top of tower.

“I don’t know what your faith is, but I think God was watching over him today,” said Foley.

“These towers are extremely dangerous,” explained CMPD Major Brian Foley. “You will die if you climb this tower and you touch something the wrong way.”

SWAT negotiators were able to communicate with the man using a Long Range Acoustic Device. After approximately four hours of communication, the man climbed down from the tower safely and without injury. This person has not yet been identified due to his mental and physical condition. He is being treated at Atrium Main.

“I don’t know what your faith is, but I think God was watching over him today,” said Foley.

“He’s a very fortunate individual.”

Police also plan to charge someone who flew a drone near the man and the power lines, saying it’s illegal and could have interfered in life-saving negotiations.

According to Duke Energy’s website, over 12,000 people lost power around 3:11 p.m. This map showed less than 1,000 people remained without power by 4:10 p.m. as it began to return. By 6:15 p.m., all the power from this outage had returned.

Duke Power outage 3:30 pm
Duke Power outage 3:30 pm(Duke Power)

This is a developing story.

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