CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With more than 2,000 Duke Energy employees and contractors already in the field and more on the way, the company has begun restoring power to the thousands of Carolinas customers affected by the overnight snowstorm.
The storm's hardest hit areas include Chatham, Durham, Nash, Orange and Wake counties. Outages currently total more than 187,000 customers.
Duke Energy line workers, tree crews, damage assessors and other personnel are supporting the restoration effort.
Damage to the power delivery system was due to falling trees and tree limbs. In many cases, the weight of the wet snow on the branches caused them to bend onto or under power lines. As this snow melts and falls from those branches, trees and limbs may fall onto power lines or snap back, contacting the lines and causing additional outages.
"We are conducting damage assessments and working to shorten the length of every outage by moving resources to the hardest hit areas," said Brett Carter, senior vice president of Duke Energy Carolinas Delivery Operations. There are a significant number of downed power lines and we cant stress enough the importance of people staying away from downed and sagging power lines at all times. We appreciate our customers patience as we work to restore power in the Carolinas."
Estimated times of restoration are currently available for many customers affected by this storm. However, anticipated restoration times for customers in the hardest hit areas will be available this evening.
Safety remains critically important during restoration efforts. All downed power lines should be considered energized and dangerous. Please call Duke Energy to report downed lines.
On the roads, please move over to allow Duke Energy crews or emergency management crews to work safely.
Restoring power after severe weather can be challenging, as travel conditions are hazardous. Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine what personnel, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs. Because of this, customers may see damage assessors patrolling their neighborhoods before crews arrive to begin work.
Crews prioritize work to ensure the largest number of customers are restored as quickly as possible. Essential services, such as hospitals and emergency response facilities, are the first priority.
If you lose power, please turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This helps with restoration efforts because it reduces the immediate demand on power lines when power is restored.
Once your power is restored, please wait a few minutes before turning your equipment back on. For a graphical explanation of power restoration, go to: http://www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/How-Duke-Energy-Restores-Power.pdf
Customers can get an update on their specific outage by viewing the current outage map at www.duke-energy.com/storms, calling Duke Energy or opting in to receive a text message.
Customers who experience an outage during the storm should call the automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:
- Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
- Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356
For videos and additional information about how Duke Energy prepares for severe weather events and responds to power outages, visit duke-energy.com, and click "Weathering the storm."
Duke Energy also provides updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed about outages.
- Duke Energy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DukeEnergy
- Duke Energy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DukeEnergy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.