By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — Jeepers! Creepers, the growing kind, were to blame for the power outage that affected parts of town Monday.
Power went out at around 11:15 a.m., affecting approximately 3,250 Wake Forest Power customers, shutting off traffic signals and darkening lights at town hall, according to town officials.
Most customers had power restored by 12:30 p.m. and the remainder by 12:50 p.m.
The culprit was vines that had grown up the transformer between houses along North Taylor and North White streets, according to Mike Barton, Wake Forest director of public works.
The resulting short “just blew two fuses, and simultaneously caused the recloser to open up,” Barton said.
Reclosers are circuit breakers that automatically close the breaker that it has been opened after a fault.
In this case, the recloser remained open, due to the town’s Cedar Avenue substation being offline while Duke Energy Progress crews work on the utility’s transmission lines feeding Wake Forest, Barton said.
“We had to do some switching to re-energize,” he added.
Affected areas of town included the eastern portion of Stadium Drive and west of South Main Street, as well as all of North Main Street, the East End, downtown Wake Forest and Wait Avenue.
The outage also impacted the town’s telephone system, causing numerous calls to town hall, the police department and the public works operations center to be dropped or disconnected.
Town officials are investigating the cause of the phone issues, according to Wake Forest Public Information Director Bill Crabtree.