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An entire North Carolina town lost power. Now leaders think they know why.

Town leaders think they know what caused the entire Rowan County town of Landis and part of neighboring Kannapolis to lose power this week, prompting the town to open a temporary cooling station as temperatures soared.

Town officials say a Duke Energy transmission jumper somehow came loose and toppled onto a town of Landis power line. Or vice-versa.

“Either could have contributed to the other and there is no way to conclusively determine which occurred first,” town officials posted Wednesday night. “Whichever initially caused the fault, the Duke Energy protective devices eventually tripped their station offline until repairs to Landis and Duke lines could be completed.”

Landis has about 3,000 residents.

During the outage, town officials opened a temporary cooling station at South Rowan High School in China Grove.

American Red Cross workers provided drinks and snacks, town officials said.

In a post Wednesday, Landis officials said they were “working diligently with Duke Energy to restore power throughout the town. We are sorry for any inconvenience, but it is our goal to have power back online as soon as possible.”

Traffic lights were out, and town workers were directing drivers through intersections, Observer news partner WBTV reported at 11:30 a.m.

Duke Energy restored the power by about 3 p.m., the station reported..

The temperature was 90 degrees at Rowan County Airport at 1 p.m. Wednesday and reached 94 that afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The only town of Landis equipment damaged were insulators that Landis Public Power crews “quickly replaced,” the town posted on Facebook. “The Town was ready for power flow to resume at approximately 11:45 AM. Duke Energy’s repairs were more extensive and were not completed until shortly after 2 PM. Once Duke’s repairs were completed, power was restored to all customers.”

With heat and humidity expected to make it feel like it’s 105 degrees this weekend, Rowan County Emergency Services on Saturday opened two cooling stations in Salisbury.

The first station, at the Rowan County Department of Social Services, 1813 E. Innes St., will be open again from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The second station, at J.F. Hurley YMCA, 828 W. Jake Alexander Blvd., will have Sunday hours of 1 to 5 p.m.

Drinks and light snacks will be available, but no overnight accommodations will be provided.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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