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Cause of Carowinds outage revealed; park on regular schedule Friday

Ride Thunder Road and Fury 325 side by side

Carowinds' iconic Thunder Road wooden roller coaster closed July 26, 2015, after 39 years. Fury 325 opened in March 2015 and is the tallest, fastest giga coaster in the world. See how they compare side-by-side at the amusement park that straddles
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Carowinds' iconic Thunder Road wooden roller coaster closed July 26, 2015, after 39 years. Fury 325 opened in March 2015 and is the tallest, fastest giga coaster in the world. See how they compare side-by-side at the amusement park that straddles

A power outage that shut down some rides at Carowinds amusement park and trapped visitors high above the ground Thursday was caused by a blown transformer, park employees told WBTV.

The park will operate on its normal schedule of 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, spokeswoman Laresa Thompson said.

Due to the outage, some rides and attractions will be closed, including Barracuda Blasters, Sand Dune Lagoon, Southern Sidewinder and Whitewater Falls, she said.

The power went off parkwide at about 7:50 p.m. Thursday and stayed out for two or three minutes, according to Harry Scheeler, who was in the park at the time.

“All of a sudden someone came over the loudspeaker saying not to panic,” Scheeler said.

Afterward, people were stuck on at least three rides – the roller coasters Afterburn and Intimidator and a rotating swing ride called WindSeeker, the tallest in the park. The popular Fury 325 also was shut down, WBTV reported.

At the park, riders could be seen on the Windseeker ride in the air, according to WBTV. The ride wasn’t moving and someone was talking to riders over a loudspeaker. Around 9:30 p.m., park personnel appeared to be manually lowering the ride, Scheeler said.

It was unclear whether the problem was with electricity inside the park or a greater outage. Duke Energy wasn’t reporting any outages nearby.

WindSeeker, which is 301 feet tall, has been a source of almost annual problems at the park.

The ride malfunctioned in July 2013, stranding 64 passengers high above the amusement park for more than an hour.

A year earlier, in June 2012, the ride’s safety system activated, suspending 25 riders about 30 feet off the ground for nearly three hours.

Staff Writer Joe Marusak contributed.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

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