(WGHP) — People throughout the Piedmont Triad could be experiencing blackouts during Christmas Eve as Duke Energy shut off power in some parts of the state.

At 7:38 a.m. on Christmas Eve, Duke Energy tweeted that it had begun “short temporary power outages.”

Duke Energy outage maps at one point showed that over 50,000 people in the Triad were affected by the outages and many more are being impacted throughout the state as a whole.

Outages began impacting Alamance County at around 9:29 a.m., according to the Alamance County Emergency Management Office.

Governor Roy Cooper issued the following statement on the power outages:

“This morning I spoke with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to offer assistance and to express urgency about the need to restore power quickly in this extreme cold while keeping customers accurately informed. I’m grateful for the workers braving the wind and cold to get the power back on.”

Governor Cooper

Duke Energy released a larger statement on the outages on the outage map page:

“Due to extremely cold temperatures driving unusually high energy demand, we have begun short, temporary power outages across our system. These emergency outages, also known as rolling blackouts, are necessary to protect the energy grid against longer, more widespread outages. The majority of these emergency outages will be restored remotely within 30-60 minutes; however, in some cases, a crew will need to be dispatched, extending restoration times. Also, it is possible that other unrelated factors, such as downed tree limbs, are also causing outages at the same time. We will update the map as our crews provide additional information. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we respond to this emergency situation.” 

Statemnt from Duke Energy on the emergecny outages

Several concerned members of the community have reached out to FOX8 to express their frustration with the situation.

It should again be noted that while Duke Energy says that the power will be restored in a short time in most cases, other factors could lead to longer outages in some cases unrelated to the emergency outages.

FOX8’s Caroline Bowyer spoke with Duke Energy’s Jeff Brooks who divulged the following information:

  • In some cases, these outages are lasting more than 15-30 minutes as planned.
  • The idea is to prevent larger outages and make sure they aren’t burdening any one customer for too long.
  • The temporary outages are not expected to affect Christmas Day.
  • Restorations have begun and the hope is that most of the power will be restored by the early afternoon.
  • Colder temperatures and higher usage than expected led to emergency outages being enacted in order to protect the grid.

At 3:42 p.m., Duke Energy tweeted that emergency rotating outages in the state had concluded and that all power restoration should be completed by the end of Christmas Eve.

North Carolinians are still being encouraged to conserve energy when possible without sacrificing safety.