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Extreme weekend weather causing power and pipe problems

Duke Energy launched rolling blackouts across the Triad, asking customers to conserve energy after the wind knocked out power for thousands of people.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — At Pete and Wall Plumbing, the phones were ringing off the hook, following a frigid holiday weekend. 

"I knew it was going to be busy today as the temperatures warm up some. As the winds go down, these pipes are going to thaw and start to bust and spray," said Pete and Wall Plumbing Vice President, James Wall.

To keep homes from flooding, Wall was forced to call people in on their off day. 

"We have a handful working. So, not as many as I would like or could use, but you have to let them enjoy their holiday weekend. They've worked hard all year," he said. 

High winds and below-freezing temperatures move in ahead of Christmas weekend freezing pipes and putting thousands of people in the dark. 

In addition to the weather-related outages, Duke Energy Spokesperson, Jeff Brooks said in some places, the company intentionally turned the power off. 

Rolling outages ended Monday morning

"We restored those remaining outages from the windstorm on Christmas Day, so those customers should be all back up," said Brooks. 

According to Brooks, energy used to overcome extremely cold temperatures taxed the power grid and since the storm covered multiple states, they weren't able to bring more power in from outside the region. 

"It was [somewhat] of a perfect storm that created some challenges on the grid. We needed to take temporary outages for some customers in order to protect the grid. All of our customers from a larger and potentially more expended outage," Brooks said. 

While he doesn't expect routine rolling blackouts moving forward, Brooks says Duke Energy is working to improve its system for future weather events.

"I can say that we are making a significant investment. It's across the system to improve resiliency for lots of events," Brooks explained. 

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