Duke Energy crews restore power to more than 250,000 customers after winter storm moves through Carolinas

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  • 24,000 customers remained without power as of 3 p.m. today.

  • Repair crews to restore power to most remaining impacted customers by late tonight; many will be restored sooner.

  • Power will not be restored to some customers in parts of hardest-hit regions until late Tuesday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy today said it is on track to restore nearly all customers who lost power during the weekend winter storm in the Carolinas by late tonight, though many will be restored sooner.

Repair crews have restored power to more than 250,000 customers in the two-state region so far.

As of 3 p.m. today, 24,000 customers – 16,000 in North Carolina, 8,000 in South Carolina – remained without power.

Power will not be restored to some customers in parts of North Carolina’s hard-hit mountain and Southern Pines regions until late Tuesday due to extensive – and, in some cases, remote and isolated – damage to power lines. All other customers in those two regions will be restored sooner.

Duke Energy dispatched additional workers and equipment to both regions to supplement existing repair crews.

“We were ready for this storm, and thankfully it was much less severe than anticipated,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy Carolinas storm director. “We greatly appreciate the ongoing patience of our customers who lost power, especially given the cold temperatures across the region. Our crews are working to safely restore power to all impacted customers as soon as possible.”

Duke Energy will communicate estimated power restoration times directly to all remaining impacted customers later today.

The company also is providing estimated power restoration times for specific counties at duke-energy.com/outages/current-outages.

Estimated power restoration times indicate the latest time that the company expects to restore power in a given area. However, power for many customers in that area will be restored sooner.

The company will keep impacted customers informed as power restoration work progresses.

Counties with largest number of remaining power outages

  • North Carolina – Hoke, Jackson, Lee, Macon, Moore and Richmond.
  • South Carolina – Chester, Darlington, Greenwood, Lancaster, Laurens, Oconee and Pickens.

Text ‘OUT’ to 57801 to report power outages

  • Customers can report power outages by texting “OUT” to 57801.
  • Find the most up-to-date information on the company’s outage map.
  • The company also will provide regular updates to customers and communities through emails, text messages, outbound phone calls, social media and its website, which includes power outage maps.

Duke Energy working closely with state officials

  • Duke Energy is working closely with state officials in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Both states provide emergency information – North Carolina, South Carolina.
  • Duke Energy serves 4.3 million customers in the Carolinas – 3.5 million in North Carolina; 800,000 in South Carolina.

Duke Energy’s power restoration process

Important safety information for customers

  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging, and keep children and pets away, as well. Consider all power lines energized, as well as trees or branches touching those power lines. Report downed power lines to Duke Energy or local emergency services.
  • If you’re driving and encounter emergency responders or other roadside work crews, remember to safely MOVE OVER.
  • If a power line falls across a car that you’re in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
  • If you use a backup generator due to a power outage, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe operation. Operate your generator outside only. Never operate it inside a building or garage, as these devices emit carbon monoxide.
  • Don’t use grills or other outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking, as these devices also emit carbon monoxide.
  • More tips on what to do before, during and after a storm – duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety.

Shelter information

If you lose power and need to move to a shelter, North Carolina and South Carolina state websites provide emergency shelter information – North Carolina, South Carolina.

In addition, the Red Cross maintains an update-to-date list of open shelter locations – https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/find-an-open-shelter.html.

How to protect refrigerated food during power outages

For customers who lose power and have full refrigerators and freezers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the following:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
  • A refrigerator can keep food cold for about four hours if it is unopened. If the power will be out for more than four hours, use coolers to keep refrigerated food cold.
  • A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

The FDA offers additional tips for proper food handling and storage before, during and after a power outage at www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/food-and-water-safety-during-power-outages-and-floods.

Avoid customer scams

Customers should be alert to scammers who might call them – impersonating Duke Energy representatives and threatening to cut off customers’ power before or during the storm unless customers make an immediate payment for late bills or other charges.

Duke Energy never makes such calls.

Below are tips for customers to avoid such scams:

  • If it’s a recorded voice, often referred to as a “robocall,” be extra cautious.
  • Do not provide any personal information.
  • Duke Energy’s actual recorded calls to customers are informative only. The company’s calls never threaten to cut off power and never request personal information. 
  • If a caller – recorded or live – specifically asks you to pay using a prepaid debit card, that’s a red flag. Prepaid debit cards are like cash and the transactions cannot be reversed. 
  • If the caller pressures you to make an immediate payment of any type – or provide personal information of any kind, such as a bank account number or social security number – hang up the phone. 

Sign up for outage alerts

Customers can receive the most up-to-date information about power restoration efforts by enrolling in Outage Alerts.

How to report power outages

Customers who experience a power outage can report the outage using Duke Energy's automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:

  • Customers can report an outage by texting “OUT” to 57801, and also report an outage or view current outages on the Duke Energy mobile app or at www.duke-energy.com/outages
  • Duke Energy Carolinas: 1.800.POWERON (1.800.769.3766)
  • Duke Energy Progress: 1.800.419.6356

Duke Energy also will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur:

View B-roll of storm preparations and winter storm power restoration efforts

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Media contact: 800.559.3853