by: Greg Suskin Updated:CLOVER, S.C. —
Duke Energy warned thousands of South Carolina customers that they are going to lose power during this weekend’s heat wave.
An automated phone call went out Friday, telling 3,600 residents in Clover that the power company will have to shut off power to the area for a few overnight hours.
“I was steamed! We’re in a heat wave,” said David Bowles after he received the call.
With stifling heat forecast for the weekend, Bowles said the message did not seem urgent and wondered why the company could not do the work at a later date.
“There was nothing mentioned about (it being) critical, or how ‘we have to do this now,’” he said.
Duke Energy officials said the repairs to a substation cannot be delayed because that could cause a longer outage at a later date.
Shan McDonald wanted to know why the problem was not found sooner.
“I’m assuming they have 24-hour maintenance. How can they just now know that?” she asked.
Duke Energy’s words in an email were stronger than the phone message.
“There is a piece of equipment that’s in imminent danger of failing, and with high temperatures we are afraid it will fail in the middle of the day. So we are purposely making repairs at the coolest hours,” the statement read.
Before the power -- and the air conditioning -- shuts off on July 1, Bowles said he will go stay with an out-of-town friend.
Duke Energy said the crews would try to make the repair again Monday morning if they cannot do it Sunday morning.
For people in Clover, it could mean an uncomfortable three hours.