North Carolina

Power finally restored after blown transformer knocks out power to entire NC town

Keep that fridge closed and other food safety tips during power outages

Make sure you have a plan that involves proper food safety precautions to take if you lose power.
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Make sure you have a plan that involves proper food safety precautions to take if you lose power.

Power was restored to the Gaston County town of Dallas on Saturday afternoon — 14 hours after a transformer blew at an electrical substation, leaving everyone in miserable heat.

Town officials set up a cooling station as temperatures soared to near-record highs in the Charlotte region.

All traffic lights in Dallas lost power, too, so drivers were urged to treat each intersection as a four-way stop, according to a news release from the Gaston County Office of Emergency Management.

All 3,600 residents lost electricity at about 10:45 p.m. Friday when a transformer failed at the Town of Dallas electrical substation on South Rhyne Street, officials said in the release.

Town electric crews originally hoped to restore power between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday.

In an updated advisory just before 1 p.m., emergency management officials said the transformer had been replaced and town electric crews were about to restore power “in phases beginning at 1 p.m.”

Power was fully restored by 2 p.m., officials said

The American Red Cross helped the town open the cooling station at 1 p.m. at the Dallas Fire Department on West Main Street, “for citizens needing relief from the heat,” according to the updated advisory.

“Fortunately, no one had to use the cooling station, and it was closed at 2 p.m.,” emergency management officials said.

“Town of Dallas electric crews did a phenomenal job replacing this transformer, which is so large that it required the use of a special crane,” officials said.

The temperature in Gaston County was 92 degrees at 1 p.m. and 93 degrees at 3 p.m., according to the the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C.

In a hazardous weather update early Saturday, NWS meteorologists warned that Gaston, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union and York counties could see near record highs this afternoon through at least early in the week.

“Temperatures in the mid-90s will combine with reasonably high humidity to yield Heat Index values of 95 to 100 this afternoon to early evening,” NWS forecasters said in the advisory.