The almost 7,000 resources on-site today may be doubled by tomorrow
Beautiful weather belies the devastation left behind by Hurricane Matthew
Access to damaged areas slows the restoration process
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy's success in making restorations is being tempered by the desire to have all customers restored as quickly and safely as possible.
There are around 430,000 outages remaining, with 308,000 in North Carolina and 122,000 in South Carolina.
With almost 7,000 crews making repairs, the company has called for additional assistance and that number could come close to doubling in the next day or so. Help has come from as far away as Canada.
Sometimes it's hard to comprehend how there can be so many outages when the weather is beautiful.
But here is a summary of Hurricane Matthew's legacy:
More than 800 broken poles and miles of downed lines -- and still counting.
More than 100 substations damaged (the main electrical locations where electricity is received from power plants and then distributed to large portions of communities were down at the height of the storm; crews restored 64, but more than 50 remain out.)
And repairs are being hampered by downed trees, flooded or damaged roads
In some Duke Energy service areas, the electrical system will need to be rebuilt.
"I understand what folks are feeling," said Bobby Simpson, who is overseeing Duke Energy's restoration efforts. "Normally our crews are battling the elements as they're trying to replace poles and transformers and restring circuits. Today the sun was shining as they climbed into their trucks. But they only had to drive a mile or two down the road to be back in the middle of an environmental war zone."
Duke Energy has posted estimated times of restoration on its website today. Customers should understand those restoration times reflect the latest time a customer's power could be restored. However, as crews assess specific areas, these times may be improved.
However, customers in some of the hardest-hit counties might be without power all week.
In some areas, the damage seen is on a scale similar to the destruction of Hurricanes Hugo and Floyd.
Duke Energy's customer service centers have supplemented their ranks to assist customers who call to report outages and emergencies.
Customers can report outages and electrical emergencies, such as downed lines and poles, by calling Duke Energy's automated outage-reporting system for their specific service area:
Duke Energy Carolinas – 800.769.3766
Duke Energy Progress – 800.419.6356
Customers can text OUT to 57801 to report an outage from their mobile phone. Be sure to use the mobile phone associated with the customer's account.
Ash and cooling pond dams in the Carolinas continue to operate safely. Flooding is beginning to subside near the retired Weatherspoon Plant in Lumberton, N.C. The Neuse River near the H.F. Lee Plant in Goldsboro, N.C., continues to rise and may flow into the plant's cooling pond later today. The Weatherspoon Plant ash basin and active ash basin at H.F. Lee Plant are not affected. State regulators continue to support operations at both plants.
Duke Energy urges everyone to be safe during this challenging time. Please follow these important tips:
Our employees are trained to be vigilant and constantly aware of their surroundings.
If, at any time, our crews believe they are in an unsafe situation, they will postpone the work until the area is safe and secure.
We will continue to monitor this evolving situation with our focus on the safety of our customers and employees.
Anyone encountering electrical equipment after a storm, whether it is a downed power line, a substation or a solar site, take extreme caution and assume that the equipment is energized -- especially do not go near electrical equipment when it is immersed in standing water. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy or your local power provider.
If a power line falls across a car 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 no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
Power lines can be hidden by debris and standing water so please be extremely careful moving around in damaged areas.
"Move Over and Slow Down" Law: The "move over" law requires drivers to move over one lane when two or more lanes are available in each direction to make way for emergency responders, tow trucks, DOT incident management assistance patrols and roadside work crews, such as utility crews. On roads with only one traffic lane in each direction, drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop. Violators could face fines.
Stay Connected -- Duke Energy offers a number of ways for customers to get information about outages and restoration efforts.
Online -- www.duke-energy.com/matthew. Customers can access outage maps and other information online from a computer or mobile device. Once on the map, customers can zoom in to their specific location and hover over the outage indicator nearest their home. A message box will appear showing total customers affected, status and an estimated time of restoration, if available
Facebook -- www.facebook.com/dukeenergy
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DukeEnergy
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 7.4 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. The company also distributes natural gas to more than 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its commercial and international businesses operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing renewable energy portfolio.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index 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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