Lightning Strike Knocks Out Power in Boone on Monday, Police Direct Traffic During Outage

Published Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 11:54 am
The streetlights at the intersection of N.C. 105 and U.S. 321 were among the traffic signals offline during Monday's power outage. Photo by Elizabeth Hempfling

The traffic signals at the intersection of N.C. 105 and U.S. 321 were among the traffic signals offline during Monday’s power outage. Photo by Elizabeth Hempfling

By Jesse Wood

After lightning struck a power pole in Boone on Monday night at about 7 p.m., hundreds of New River Light & Power customers were without power from one to three hours.

The outage even knocked a few of the traffic signals offline for about an hour, and the Boone Police Department directed traffic during the outage. Traffic signals at the intersection of N.C. 105 and U.S. 321 and near Hardee’s were among the streetlights that were offline on Monday evening.

“We had lightning that hit a pole behind [an App South apartment building]. It caught a cross arm on fire and burned up fuse cutouts that we have protected in the underground there,” Frank Butler, a power line supervisor with New River Light & Power, said.

Butler said that 200 customers were without power for about an hour, and additional customers living closest to the lightning strike were without power for about three and a half hours until the system was rebuilt and replaced.

The thunderstorms may have also played apart in another power outage in Boone.

Renee Whitener, spokesperson for Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, said that 46 members in Boone were without power for just over one hour, beginning at 6:28 p.m. on Monday. Whitener said that there was an equipment problem at a substation during the severe weather.

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