Duke Energy ready for Ian’s impacts; widespread, multiday outages expected across both states

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  • More than 10,000 crew members in position to respond to power outages.

  • Extensive damage from high winds, heavy rain and flooding could result in multiday outages.

  • Customers urged to focus on safety as the storm approaches.

CHARLOTTE, NC – With Hurricane Ian’s imminent landfall expected along South Carolina’s coast, Duke Energy is prepared and urges customers to ready themselves, as well.

“We care about the safety of our customers, crews and employees during and after every storm event," said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s Carolinas storm director. "We're trained and prepared, and we want to ensure our customers are safe and ready for any impacts from the storm. Right now, our main concerns are high winds and heavy rain.”

Because Duke Energy provides energy service beyond the Carolinas, and is part of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, the company has the ability to request resources from other areas not affected by the storm’s path.

Duke Energy has nearly 10,000 crew members ready to respond; more than 6,100 of those are line technicians. Crew members, contractors, tree specialists and other personnel are being staged across North Carolina and South Carolina. Placing crews near areas that will likely be affected by this system allows for the quickest and safest response after the storm passes and conditions are safe.

The company is closely monitoring the weather system, which strengthened into a hurricane overnight and is likely to bring heavy rainfall, strong winds and localized flooding across Duke Energy’s service area in the Carolinas.

Customers should prepare for the potential of multiday power outages. When outages occur, Duke Energy is committed to restoring power as safely and quickly as possible, while keeping customers informed throughout the process. Line technicians do not perform elevated work in bucket trucks when winds (sustained or gusts) are above 30 miles per hour. 

Power restoration process

Once the storm passes and conditions are safe, Duke Energy will begin assessing damage and restoring outages. The company restores power in a sequence starting with public health and safety facilities and equipment that restores the greatest number of customers. Click here for information on how Duke Energy restores power.

Customers who experience a power outage can report it the following ways:

  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device. 
  • Use the Duke Energy mobile app (download the Duke Energy app on your smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play). 
  • Call Duke Energy’s automated outage-reporting system: 800.228.8485. 

Duke Energy recommends customers double-check their readiness for possible power outages and offers the following tips to help you and your family stay safe if the power goes out:

  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines.
  • 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.
  • Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes.
  • Keep a portable radio or TV or a NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
  • Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of the storm to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.
  • Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs, or evacuation is required.

Customers should stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.

For a hurricane kit checklist and important safety information, visit  www.ready.gov. In addition, tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found in the Storm Center at duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety. A checklist serves as a helpful guide, but it's critical before, during and after a storm to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency management officials in your area.

High water on Duke Energy lakes

Duke Energy continues to move water through its river systems to prepare for rainfall and runoff.

Individuals who live along lakes and rivers and in flood-prone areas should pay close attention to local media and weather forecasts for changes in weather conditions and rising water levels. Duke Energy also encourages those residents to follow instructions from local emergency officials. 

Real-time lake level information is available at www.duke-energy.com/community/lakes, by calling 800.829.5253 or on the Duke Energy Lake View mobile app. 

High-water safety reminders

  • High-water conditions can create navigational hazards, and the public should use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes or rivers. 
  • If rising water threatens your home – or if you evacuate your home – turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box. 
  • Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over – and don't stand near – downed power lines. 
  • Downed lines will be hard to see in the rain and can potentially be hidden in standing water. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path. 
  • If your home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

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 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 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 28,000 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “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: Jeff Brooks (Carolinas Media inquiries)
Media line: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_JeffB