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Duke: Fallen tree to blame for 2-hour power outage

The Steele Creek power outage lasting two hours Wednesday night was the result of a fallen tree, according to Duke Energy.

“It was a circumstance where the outage was caused by a tree in the right-of-way that fell onto our equipment,” said company spokesman Greg Efthimiou. “It was removed and power was restored.”

The outage impacted the N.C. 49 and N.C. 160 area at about 5 p.m. Power was restored at 7:12 p.m. Efthimiou said the outage was “fairly limited” to the south Charlotte area, including RiverGate shopping center.

“It popped off and it flickered a time or two, then it went off for good,” said James Dunford, instructor at The JumpE Place and My Gym Children’s Fitness Center. “I stayed until about 5:45, and then I left. It was off when I left.”

Because his business caters to children during the earlier hours, the loss of power did not impact Dunford as much as other businesses. When he left, he couldn’te get gas or stop at any other RiverGate businesses.

“Without power you can’t even use the cash register,” he said. “You can’t do anything.”

With large inflatables in his store, he said, the situation could have been much worse.

“I’m just glad there weren’t kids all over them, with a party or something,” Dunford said. “When we turn these things off, they go down pretty quickly. We might have had to evacuate the place.”