Power Outage Friday Night – Earthquake Sunday

A widespread power outage occurred Friday afternoon at 6:08 pm. The outage affected over 15,000 of the 38,000 French Broad Electric customers in a 6 county area. Many Duke Energy Customers were also without power. French Broad Electric said the interruption was caused by a feed line coming into their system.  Power was restored around 7:35pm.

The USGS reported, a significant earthquake took place near Sparta, North Carolina around 8:07 am Sunday morning.

The quake registered at 5.1 on the Richter Scale, one of the stronger to occur in this region in decades. Reports of feeling the earthquake were reported from all across Western North Carolina, and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina.

Mitchell County registered a 5.2 earthquake in 1926, Asheville a 5.5 in 1916. The largest ever recorded in the Eastern US was a 7.3 earthquake in Charleston, SC in 1886.

The USGS said over the next Week there is a 1 % chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 5.1. It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next Week.