Duke Energy ready in the Carolinas as Irma continues path north

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  • Personnel will tackle storm impacts in local communities before assisting recovery efforts elsewhere.

  • Company stresses safety as it proactively manages waterways to make room for significant rainfall.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., -- The forecast for Hurricane Irma continues to push westward, but this powerful storm could still change course and have severe impacts to portions of North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Energy continues to monitor and prepare for the storm, and the company encourages customers to do so as well.

"Mother Nature often plays by her own set of rules, and that is why it is important to stay vigilant ahead of this massive storm," said Tim Tripp, Duke Energy's regional incident commander. "Our teams are ready to respond and will remain here in the Carolinas until the storm passes and restoration efforts, if outages occur, are complete. At that time, we'll begin deploying crews to Florida to assist with restoration efforts there."

Duke Energy has a detailed storm response plan. As part of the company's preparation for Hurricane Irma, line technicians and others continue to check equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure there are adequate materials to make repairs and restore power outages as quickly and safely as possible.

For more information, visit www.duke-energy.com/irma.

Managing our waterways
To proactively prepare for significant rainfall, Duke Energy is moving water and lowering lake levels on its reservoirs to increase storage capacity. Before and after Hurricane Irma passes through the Carolinas, flow releases from these reservoirs will be higher than usual:

  • Please do not enter turbulent and swift water resulting from the hurricane.
  • When boating, be especially cautious and observant for floating debris such as logs, limbs and docks.
  • Residents living along lakes, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone areas should pay special attention to changing weather conditions and take any necessary precautions.

The public can access information on current lake levels at duke-energy.com/lakes or by calling 800.829.5253. 

Important reminders
The following tips can help you and your family stay safe if severe weather strikes and the power goes out:

  • 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.
  • Maintain a supply of water and non-perishable food.
  • Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in your emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container).
  • Keep a portable radio or TV, or 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.
  • Pet owners can make arrangements to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets, friends' or family members' homes, or pet-friendly hotels.
  • 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.
  • Report all power line hazards using the following phone numbers:
    • Duke Energy Progress customers – 800.419.6356
    • Duke Energy customers – 800.769.3766
  • 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.

For a "Hurricane Kit Checklist," important safety tips and more information on what to do before, during and after a storm, visit https://www.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.

For more tips on general emergency preparedness, visit www.ready.gov.

Click here for a video demonstration and to read more about safety around power lines.

Outage reporting and status updates
At any time, customers can report power outages by:

  • Visiting duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device
  • Texting OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
  • Calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800-769-3766 for Duke Energy Carolinas customers and 800-419-6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.

For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).

Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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