Duke Energy preparing for winter storm in the tri-state; urges customers to do the same

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  • Mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and low temperatures could cause power outages in southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky

  • More than 500 line technicians and other power restoration workers ready to respond

CINCINNATI – Like many Midwesterners, Duke Energy continues to monitor and prepare for a winter storm that has the potential to cause power outages across the company’s Ohio and Kentucky service regions.

Related: B-roll video of storm prep and winter storm power restoration efforts

"This storm will be different compared to the system that blanketed the Midwest with snow last weekend,” said Duke Energy Meteorologist Curt Grimoskas. “This one is distinctive because it has the potential to bring a combination of snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain, very gusty winds and cold temperatures.”

Related: High-resolution photos of winter storm power restoration work

Snow on its own typically has little to no impact on the electric system. However, heavy wet snow accumulation, freezing rain and high winds can bring down trees, limbs and power lines. These types of winter storms can also create hazardous driving conditions, which could delay or impede Duke Energy workers’ abilities to assess storm damage and restore power.

Duke Energy workers preparing for and tracking storm

Ahead of this weekend’s storm, Duke Energy line technicians and other workers continue to inspect equipment, check supplies and restock inventories to ensure adequate materials are available to make repairs and restore power outages. In addition, Duke Energy meteorologists are continually tracking the storm’s path and intensity, and updating forecast models, which influence how the company mobilizes its workers and other resources.

Related: How Duke Energy restores power following a storm

Duke Energy has more than 500 line technicians, service crew workers and other storm personnel available across the company’s Ohio and Kentucky service regions to respond to power outages once conditions are safe. Depending on the impact of the storm, Duke Energy can bring in additional workers from its Southeast utilities and/or activate mutual aid agreements to enlist help from other utilities across the U.S.  

Bitter cold temperatures following the storm will make conditions even worse in the event of outages.

“We can’t stress enough the need for customers to be prepared for the storm and to be ready to move family members and neighbors – especially those who may be more vulnerable during a loss of power – to safe, alternative locations,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.

Safety reminders

Here are ways customers can be prepared and stay safe before, during and after a storm:

  • Ensure an adequate supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc., as well as the availability of a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or weather radio.
  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy or local emergency services.
  • 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 are driving and encounter emergency responders or other roadside work crews, remember to MOVE OVER. It’s the law in Ohio and Kentucky, and a good practice for all drivers.
  • If you use a generator due to a power outage, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper operation. Operate your generator outside; never operate it inside a building or garage.
  • Don’t use grills or other outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking, as these devices may omit carbon monoxide.

Reporting outages

Customers who experience outages during the storm have multiple ways to report them:

  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Call the automated outage-reporting system at 800.543.5599.
  • Report an outage or view current outages by visiting duke-energy.com/outages.

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

Duke Energy natural gas customers in Ohio and Kentucky can always call 800.634.4300 to report natural gas outages or other issues. Any customer who suspects a gas leak should always evacuate the area before calling.

Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky’s operations provide electric service to about 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 533,000 customers.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Sally Thelen
24-Hour: 800.559.3853