Salt buildup on power lines causes weekend outage in Carolina Beach

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Residents in Carolina Beach got an unexpected light show this weekend.

Thousands of residents noticed their power flickering Saturday night. Some places were even left in the dark.

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After weeks of dry weather, rain Saturday night caused several transformers to spark across town.

Jeff Brooks at Duke Energy explains this is not uncommon.

Brooks says extremely dry weather can cause corrosion from buildup of salt on the transformers.

He says the sparking is the rain cleaning the lines.

“What these customers are likely seeing is that buildup of salt on the equipment, and then when a light rain or humidity interacts with that salt, it can cause those little arc-looking things that they see on the lines,” Brooks said. “There’s no safety issue. They’re fine. It’s just something that happens when you have that salt buildup that interacts with the moisture.”

Brooks says this is a way of the problem fixing itself.

He says the power outages are generally short and sporadic.

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