Duke Energy restores power to 160,000 Carolinas customers in Irma's wake; expects to restore most other customers before Friday night

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  • Storm's high winds caused widespread power line damage in North Carolina, South Carolina.

  • Company has 'all hands on deck' to make repairs.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy expects to restore power to almost all North Carolina and South Carolina customers by late Friday, if not sooner, in the wake of Tropical Storm Irma.

The company so far has restored power to 160,000 customers in both states.

In North Carolina's Piedmont area, including Charlotte, almost all customers can expect to have power restored by 11 p.m. Thursday, though 95 percent will be restored sooner.

In the North Carolina mountains and Upstate South Carolina, customers can expect to have power restored by 11 p.m. Friday. However, 95 percent will be restored sooner.

Specific restoration times are available at https://news.duke-energy.com/irma.

North Carolina's hardest-hit counties include Buncombe, Jackson and Macon.

South Carolina's heavily impacted counties include Anderson, Greenville, Pickens, Oconee and Laurens.

"Hurricane Irma left behind historic and devastating destruction across the Southeast U.S., in multiple states," said Tim Tripp, Duke Energy's director of storm response for the Carolinas.

"Duke Energy has all hands on deck. We've mobilized our Carolinas crews to quickly and safely take care of our Carolinas customers, while simultaneously supporting the massive power restoration effort underway for our Florida customers," Tripp said.

Duke Energy's damage assessments in the Carolinas began early Tuesday – as soon as the storm passed through the region – giving the company valuable information about where to deploy repair crews and equipment.

How to report power outages

Customers can report power outages by:

  • 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.

Important safety reminders

  • 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 customers – 800.769.3766

           Duke Energy Progress customers – 800.419.6356

  • 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 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.

Strengthening power delivery in Carolinas

Duke Energy has invested more than $2.7 billion in the Carolinas to harden and upgrade its power delivery system since 2004. In addition to trimming trees and inspecting / replacing wood poles, the company has invested in grid automation and smart grid technologies, which improve service reliability and reduces the length and number of outages year-round.

The company is also moving forward with billions of dollars of investments in the Carolinas that include such grid hardening efforts as moving underground some overhead services that are routinely affected by dense vegetation and retrofitting hundreds of thousands of transformers with new technology to prevent animal interference and lightning strikes. 

For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

For more information, visit https://news.duke-energy.com/irma.

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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