CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The summer storm season is just heating up, and when high winds and lightning strike, power outages can happen. To lessen the chance of a power outage, Duke Energy employees work year-round to complete core grid maintenance activities, including vegetation management, pole inspections and routine outage followup.
Vegetation management – Tree branches interfering with power lines can be a primary cause of flickering lights and extended power outages, especially when combined with summer storms. To reduce the chance of outages, Duke Energy works daily to keep nearly 300,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines clear of trees and other overgrown foliage. Duke Energy employs over 100 vegetation management experts, many of whom have advanced degrees in forestry management and arboriculture. These professionals work to ensure public safety and power reliability. They also protect the health of vegetation by following techniques established by the American National Standards Institute in collaboration with the International Society of Arboriculture for tree care maintenance and operations.
- Pole inspections – Duke Energy is responsible for maintaining 7 million wooden poles. This requires routine visual inspections for loose hardware or damage. Additionally, our crews mark poles and other equipment that need repair as they complete work in the field. Any issues we find that present an immediate or near-term safety or reliability concern are repaired as soon as possible. Other repairs are marked as general maintenance and scheduled for a later date.
- Outage followup – Duke Energy proactively investigates equipment associated with recurring customer outages to determine causes and other trends that may indicate upgrades or other maintenance is needed.
Even with ongoing maintenance activities, outages will happen. Duke Energy encourages all of its customers to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature delivers this summer and offers the following tips:
- Check supplies and be sure to have the following items in an emergency response kit: portable radio with fresh batteries, flashlight, first-aid kit, canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration, and several days’ supply of drinking water.
- If someone in your home has special needs or relies on electric-powered life support equipment, determine now the actions you’d take in the event of an extended power outage (i.e., relocate your family member or have a backup generator available.). And encourage other family members, friends and neighbors to do the same.
- As severe weather moves through the area, be watchful for downed or sagging power lines. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy. 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.
- Visit Duke Energy’s storm preparedness website -- www.duke-energy.com/storms -- for links to outage reporting tools, safety information and tips. There is also an interactive outage map where customers can find up-to-date information on power outages, including the total number of outages systemwide and estimated times of restoration.
- Follow these social media accounts to get up-to-date information about outages and restoration efforts:
- Facebook -- http://www.facebook.com/DukeEnergyStorm
- Twitter -- http://twitter.com/DukeEnergyStorm
- Duke Energy’s mobile-enhanced website makes it easier than ever to report an outage via your mobile device.
Report an Outage
If you experience a power outage, let us know by calling the company's automated outage-reporting system for your specific service area:
- Duke Energy Carolinas -- 800-769-3766
- Duke Energy Progress -- 800-419-6356
- Florida -- 800-228-8485
- Ohio and Kentucky -- 800-543-5599
- Indiana -- 800-343-3525
Using these automated systems is the quickest and easiest way for customers to report outages. By entering a phone number or Duke Energy account number, the customer's outage will be recorded in the company's system and included in restoration plans. Customers can continue to use these resources to get up-to-date information about their outages once restoration times are determined.
If you experience a power outage after severe weather, it's likely many other customers are out too. When there are widespread power outages, Duke Energy follows a restoration process that focuses on repairs that will return power to the greatest number of customers as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible. Emphasis is placed on vital public health and safety facilities such as hospitals, law enforcement, fire departments, water treatment facilities and pumping stations. This infographic explains the process: http://www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/How-Duke-Energy-Restores-Power.pdf
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.