Newsstand readers hunting a copy of this week’s (June 1) edition will not be able to find one – at least not yet and for at least another hour or so.
Duke Energy decided that some maintenance work on lines and poles behind the Alamance News office and the adjacent county office building just had to be accomplished on Wednesday night – right as we’re in the midst of preparing the paper for publication to meet a weekly midnight deadline.
Instead, at about 7:00 p.m., the power goes out – and with it all computers, lights, phones, etc.
As we talk to workmen out the back door, we’re told to expect power to be out “two to three” hours, which later was amended to “probably midnight.”
And what about any advance notice of the plans?
“Oh, you’re supposed to have been notified,” we were told by workmen with Carolina Power & Signalization, the subcontractor doing the work for Duke.
We hadn’t been.
Instead, a call to the 1-800 ostensibly “customer service” line revealed that Duke Energy had tried to notify us – three times, they insisted – on May 27.
We encouraged them to look at a calendar.
May 27 was a Saturday, when we’re not open, so no surprise that we never answered a phone to learn of the upcoming outage.
And, it was Memorial Day weekend, to boot.
Duke Energy had apparently been unable to have anyone pick up the phone on Tuesday or Wednesday, regular business days, to let us know.
Readers can imagine how low on our list of responsible companies we’re putting the public utility company.
At any rate, a delayed print schedule means delivery to news racks and stores across the county will be delayed until Thursday after 5:00 p.m. and on Friday morning.
We’re hoping to work with local post offices to get copies of the paper to post offices overnight Thursday in order, hopefully, to get copies there in time for regular Friday delivery.
But if you’re getting your mailed paper late, it all derives from the power outage caused by Duke Energy’s work on Wednesday night behind our building in Graham.
Perhaps some better news: We are making access to the newspaper’s website, alamancenews.com, and our weekly e-Edition, alamancenews.us, universally accessible without charge through the weekend.
So this might present a good opportunity to see what online looks like, if you’re not familiar with it – or if you’ve been hitting the maximum number of free stories available.