CHARLOTTE, N.C. - More than 1,000 additional personnel are responding to Duke Energy's hardest-hit areas today -- restoring power to thousands in North Carolina affected by an overnight snowstorm.
A total of 3,500 personnel are working to restore power to 78,000 customers (as of 5:45 p.m. EST), down significantly from earlier today when outages peaked at 224,000. Durham and Wake counties were the hardest hit and have the greatest amount of damage.
"We've made good progress today, and the additional resources moving into the area will help our momentum," said Brett Carter, senior vice president of Duke Energy Carolinas Delivery Operations. "Customers should still be wary of downed or sagging power lines - and be careful where power crews are working."
Damage to the power delivery system was due to falling trees and tree limbs. In many cases, the weight of the wet snow on the branches caused them to bend onto or under power lines. As this snow melts and falls from those branches, trees and limbs may fall onto power lines or snap back, contacting the lines and causing additional outages.
Estimated times of restoration are posted on the Duke Energy website. Most customers should be restored by 11:45 p.m. Friday or sooner. In isolated cases of extreme damage, the company will call customers whose outages may exceed that timeframe.
Customers without power can call to receive restoration times and get an update on their specific outage by viewing the current outage map or opting in to receive a text message.
Based on the estimated time of restoration, families who have special medical needs or elderly members should consider making alternate overnight arrangements as needed.
Additional information is on the company's outage map.
Safety remains critically important during restoration efforts. All downed power lines should be considered energized and dangerous. Please call Duke Energy to report downed lines.
On the roads, please move over to allow Duke Energy crews or emergency management crews to work safely.
When using an emergency generator in your home, it is safer to plug appliances or devices directly into the generator. Duke Energy does not recommend connecting a generator directly to a breaker panel or fuse box. If your generator has previously been connected to your panel, you MUST turn off or disconnect your main breaker to ensure the safety of our line technicians working to restore your service.
Restoring power after severe weather can be challenging, as travel conditions are hazardous. Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine what personnel, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs. Because of this, customers may see damage assessors patrolling their neighborhoods before crews arrive to begin work.
Crews prioritize work to ensure the largest number of customers are restored as quickly as possible. Essential services, such as hospitals and emergency response facilities, are the first priority.
If you lose power, please turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This helps with restoration efforts because it reduces the immediate demand on power lines when power is restored.
Once your power is restored, please wait a few minutes before turning your equipment back on. For a graphical explanation of power restoration, go to: http://www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/How-Duke-Energy-Restores-Power.pdf.
Customers who experience an outage during the storm should call the automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:
- Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
- Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356
Duke Energy also provides updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed about outages.
- Duke Energy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DukeEnergy
- Duke Energy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DukeEnergy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.