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POWER OUTAGE HITS DURHAM, CHAPEL HILL BRIEFLY FRIDAY NIGHT
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POWER OUTAGE HITS DURHAM, CHAPEL HILL BRIEFLY FRIDAY NIGHT

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More than 50,000 Duke Power customers in Durham and Orange counties briefly lost electrical service Friday evening when a transmission line was snagged by a piece of road construction equipment.

The power outage darkened southern Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro for several hours, trapping students in elevators at UNC-Chapel Hill, halting holiday shopping at local malls and snarling rush-hour traffic.Police reported minor traffic accidents but no major problems, except 911 lines jammed by people wrongly calling police to report their power out.

The outage began about 6 p.m. Power started coming back on about 7:45 p.m. as Duke Power workers hurriedly made repairs to the line at Cook Road and the extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in Durham.

The outage affected about 31,000 customers in Durham and about 23,000 in the Chapel Hill area, a Duke Power spokesman said.

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