Duke Energy apologizes, urges Durham residents to file claims – WTVD-TV

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) — Duke Energy has apologized following power outages that left much of east Durham without power for more than 24 hours.

This raises the question of why this primarily affected black and Hispanic households.

“We are truly sorry, but there was absolutely no connection between the work that caused the outage and the communities it served,” said Jeff Brooks of Duke Energy.

It seems like every time something happens, from phone service to the power grid, there is an impact on the black community.

McDougald Terrace resident Ashley Canady spent her afternoon throwing out spoiled food at the community center and at her home.

“Man, what wasn’t ruined,” Canady said. “I literally went shopping that same day and picked up a few things.”

It was the same story across the street.

“I threw away a few things and it was probably a couple hundred dollars at most,” said Frederick Mitchell, a longtime Durham resident.

He said he wasn't worried about the money. Instead, he had other worries.

“It seems like every time something happens, from phone service to the electrical grid, there is an impact on the black community,” he said.

Duke Energy told ABC11 that the work was planned months in advance and that it was not unusual for this type of maintenance to be done in the winter. Durham Mayor Leonardo Williams is investigating the matter.

'It's pretty frustrating': City leaders talk about ongoing power outages in Durham

“Is it a stock question? I don’t know yet,” Williams said.

ABC11 took Williams' concerns to Duke Energy.

“No, this wasn’t a stock issue or any similar situation at all,” Brooks said. “This was an unfortunate coincidence that caused damage to a substation that happened to serve this community.”

Duke Energy told ABC11 it delivered breakfast Friday morning to residents of some public housing communities in Durham, including at McDougald Terrace. The company also provided a grant to the Red Cross to help cover meals for those affected by the outage.

Duke Energy also provided a grant to Durham Tech to replace food losses at its food pantry.

If you have lost food, you can file a claim with Report Liability Claims – Duke Energy

Mitchell said he wanted more.

“I want credit on my bill,” Mitchell said.