Hundreds of homes still without power after storm

Credit: Diana Rugg / NBC Charlotte

Hundreds of homes still without power after storm

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by DIANA RUGG / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @DianaRuggwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 16 at 9:33 AM

ALBERMARLE, N.C. -- For a second day, chainsaws roared and electric crews worked to restore power near downtown Albemarle.

By Saturday evening, nearly 2,500 customers of Albemarle city power were still without electricity, compared to 16,000 at the city's peak, according to Jonathan Misenheimer of Albemarle Public Utilities.

Misenheimer said power crews had been restoring lines since 6 a.m., and would continue until about midnight before taking a break.  They would be back at work early Sunday morning, said Misenheimer.  

Hundreds of fallen trees and their branches littered streets and yards in an area off Main Street behind Stanly Regional Medical Center.

Many had been cut in pieces, but more than a dozen of the largest trunks laid on their sides with roots exposed -- pushing up fences, holding down power lines, and, in some cases, resting against homes.

Judy Frye heard the crushing blow of a large, old tree falling through her neighbor's home on Montgomery Avenue.

"I heard a noise, and it wasn't that loud," said Frye. "And I looked out my window and saw the tree down."

"I was just so scared she was in there, her and her friend," said Frye.  Luckily, the woman who rented the home was on vacation.  She rushed home and moved what she could from the house with the help of her landlord.

The cottage home was the first that the landlord, Trudy Jepsen, had ever fixed up to rent.   She bought it when her kids were small in 1991, and had rented it to the teacher who lived there for the past 18 years.

She was sad to see it go.  

"I will miss that little house, and my children have fond memories of it too," said Jepsen.  "I'm sure it's going to be demolished, because structurally it would not meet any standards for repair."

A few blocks away, near the intersection of 3rd Street and Webb Street, neighbors sat on their porches after two days without power.

Lynne Mauldin and her father, Barry Dick, had three huge trees fall in their yard.  One damaged the roof, but kept another from crushing their car.

Thick branches littered their front yard, even covering their front steps.  Power lines cris-crossed the fallen limbs around them.

Mauldin said she was just closing a window to keep the rain out when she saw one of the trees fall over her driveway.

"I just jumped back and it was like, 'bee-WHAM!'" she recalled.  "And it was right beside us and went inside the house."

Her father said it sounded like an owl.  "Woo.. woo.. like that," he said.

Mauldin worries that her father, a diabetic who keeps a defibrillator for emergencies, may be in danger if power is not restored.

She is storing more than $1000 worth of insulin at a family member's home in Locust, but has no way to cook or keep her father cool.

"They told us today it would be four or five days before we got power," she said.

And since Mauldin hurt her knee running back in the house when she saw the storm coming, she wonders how she and her father will ever clean up the yard littered with trees.

Tree removal could cost more than $1,000 apiece, and she and her father can't do it themselves.

She shook her head. "Have no clue," she said.

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