Statement on Hurricane Irene Cleanup & Response

Statement issued by Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy:

Our City has suffered the worst damage in its history to our electric grid. During the height of the storm, we had approximately 12,000 customers without electricity. The Public Services department along with 40 additional utility workers from 3 ElectriCities and 10 private contractor crews have restored approximately 4,000 customers. These crews have been working 16 hour days to restore electricity to you. Many of these employees have damage to their own homes and are without power just as you are. It is our goal to have power restored to all of our customers, by Friday, September 2nd. Our primary business districts which include Vernon Avenue, Queen Street, Herritage Street and King Street should be restored today.

During the storm, three of our substations were damaged and the primary lines leading from these stations received damage. We had to restore these substations and get them back online before power could begin to be restored.

Numerous crews are replacing poles, wire and transformers in neighborhoods and power in some of these areas will be restored beginning today. Over the next three days, you will begin to see power turned on in neighborhoods. We will share maps with you that have estimated dates that power will be restored in your neighborhood. I want to assure you that we are working as hard and as diligent as possible to have power restored to your businesses and your homes. Any citizen having medical issues should call the Lenoir County Emergency Operation Center at 526-6666, and people are standing by to assist you with non-emergency medical issues.

Other Public Services employees have worked through the storm to make sure our water supply is safe and our sewer system is in working condition.

In order to maintain safe and secure neighborhoods, I have declared a curfew for Kinston from 10 p.m. until sunrise each night until power is restored. People will be allowed to travel to and from work and travel through Kinston during the curfew hours.

The Public Safety department has increased patrols and has more officers working on the streets and in neighborhoods. Our primary mission is to keep our citizens safe and your property secure. Again, I want to assure you that we are working and have resources in place to restore your power and to help keep your property safe during this disaster. If you have any questions, please call 939-3282.

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