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Rain knocks out power to thousands in Carolinas

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Thousands lost power across the Carolinas as heavy rain settled over the Piedmont on Sunday, though first responders in Charlotte weren’t reporting any other large weather-related problems.

At 2 p.m., 4,550 Duke Energy customers in North Carolina and South Carolina were without power. That number included 309 in Catawba County, 33 in Mecklenburg and 379 in Spartanburg, S.C.

But the outages quickly tapered off as the afternoon wore on. Just before 3 p.m., the energy company reported 1,399 people were without power. And a major outage in Oconee, S.C. – the state’s westernmost county – had been cleared up.

This weekend was the second in a row with heavy precipitation.

Last week, record-setting heavy rain that fell across the Charlotte region left behind power outages and at least one downed tree.

Perhaps the biggest problem last week was in Cornelius, where the heavy rain apparently widened a sinkhole that already had developed earlier in April.

The dirt that caved in ruptured underground power lines and left hundreds of customers without electricity.

There also was a major power outage in Matthews, possibly related to the rain.

At the height of last week’s storm, more than 2,000 Duke Energy customers were without power in Mecklenburg County.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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