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Fire at Substation/Power Outages Saturday Blamed on High Winds

Asheboro East Power Substation [Scott Pelkey | North State Journal]

ASHEBORO N.C. – A fire at a power substation in Asheboro that left over 6,000 customers without power Saturday evening was caused by high winds.

On April 1st, 2023, just after 7pm, Asheboro Fire and Rescue (AFRD) was dispatched to a report of a fire at the Asheboro East Power Substation on Spring St.

Randolph County Emergency Services advised responding units that 911 callers had reported hearing an explosion, followed by a power outage in the area. Other callers were reporting a fire at, or near, the substation.

According to Samantha East, Public Information Officer for the Asheboro Fire/Rescue Dept, “units arrived on scene to find a small area of grass burning inside the substation that was not a threat to life or property. AFRD ensured the fire stayed away from any power equipment and the fire was extinguished.”

Duke Employees seen working at the substation Monday afternoon. [Scott Pelkey | North State Journal]
Duke Employees seen working at the substation Monday afternoon. [Scott Pelkey | North State Journal]

The Asheboro Police Department responded due to the report of the explosion. In an email Robbie Brown, Asst Chief of Police, said officers cleared the call as no report was necessary.

According to Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, 6,100 customers lost power due to a tree on a power line served by the substation during high winds that were passing through the area at the time.

Historical weather station data shows that on April 1st, 2023, the highest wind gust reported was 41mph just one hour before the outage, with wind gusts around 30 mph near the time of the outage.

The power outage incident was reported as starting at 7:02 pm and restored to all customers by 7:41 pm, according to Duke Energy.