Updated: Thursday, January 31 2013, 06:42 PM EST
After all the rain, it didn't take much to knock down trees and power lines. Thousands of folks, especially in our western counties remained without electricity Thursday.
The counties encompassing the Cherokee reservation were hit especially hard. Jackson and Swain had about 3,600 people without power. There are big improvements in that number, but Duke Energy had to call in outside help to make repairs.
About 100 workers arrived mid-day Thursday from places around Charlotte. The power company says 20 utility poles in the Cherokee area were knocked down in the high winds that gusted up to about 70 mph. With ground saturated by rain, it didn't take much to snap them in two and topple trees that knocked down lines.
Duke Energy’s Jim Mincey says if the strong wind lasted any longer, even more people would have lost power. He says the goal is to restore power to everyone around Cherokee by 6 p.m. Friday.
By Rex Hodge