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Equipment failure douses lights uptown

Afternoon outage was selective at first Computers crashed, lights went out and workers, at least in some cases, headed home Thursday afternoon when a power outage hit about 100 uptown businesses, many in the middle of their lunchtime rush.

An equipment failure caused the trouble, according to a Duke Power spokesman. And nearly every customer had electricity again by 4 p.m.

Businesses first noticed trouble about 12:30 p.m., when they lost some power, but not all.

"My computer went dead, but the computer behind me didn't. It was like a brownout," said Nancy Cutter, president of Court Travel on Brevard Court.

Outside, police officers directed traffic at intersections along Tryon and Church streets.

And at the Charlotte Chamber, 330 S. Tryon St., workers noticed lights out in some rooms.

"But the Duke Energy Theater (a chamber meeting room) had power," said spokeswoman Stacey Ellis.

"We just thought it was kind of ironic."

-- Martin Thompson (, June 01, 2001

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