Utility, emergency crews battle weather-related issues

by: Torie Wells Updated:

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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Fire and power crews across the Charlotte area worked nonstop Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as they battled problems brought on by unusually cold weather.

"These cold temperatures are putting high demand on the system. If we all do a little bit, it will mean an awful lot at the end," said Paige Sheehan, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

Duke Energy said the cold temperatures have stressed the system and as crews tackled outages, the power company asked customers to cut back on usage where they can.

"This is an extraordinary weather event," said Sheehan.

Eyewitness News checked with the fire departments in the area Wednesday morning and they said they're seeing an increase in calls for many of these weather-related issues.  

The calls at Charlotte fire stations were constant Tuesday. A number of the calls were related to cold weather.

The Charlotte Fire Department said that from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, crews responded to 132 calls with 79 weather-related issues like broken water pipes and sprinkler systems.

"The insulation on sprinkler pipes and water pipes is not what you might experience up north," said Charlotte Fire Station One Battalion Chief Quentin Maver. "When it gets to this temperature the pipes freeze."

The Huntersville Fire Department said it responded to several weather-related calls Tuesday as well. It said that water did damage to several businesses and apartments.

"The upper-level apartments we're seeing as much as 3 or 4 inches of collected water on the floors up there," said Bill Suthard with the Huntersville Fire Department.

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