Duke Energy tackles power restoration in storm's aftermath

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  • 150,000 customers without power Saturday morning
  • More than 7,000 workers restoring power
  • Some customers should prepare for multi-day outages
  • Company donating $25,000 to local Red Cross chapters

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The aftermath of a winter storm that rolled through the Carolinas Friday has Duke Energy workers restoring power to more than 150,000 customers remaining without electricity.

As many as 7,000 workers responded to snow, sleet and freezing rain Friday as a major winter storm moved north through the company's system in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company has already restored more than 270,000 outages.

"Our crews are working non-stop to restore power," said Lloyd Yates, executive vice president, Market Solutions, and president of Duke Energy Carolinas. "We are confident the resources we have in the field today will make a huge impact on getting power back for our customers."

Although most customers will be restored earlier, all outages should be restored by Monday at 11 p.m. High winds or continuing bad weather could slow work and lead to additional outages. Check the company's outage site for specific restoration times. These updates should be available later this afternoon. Yates said restoration will be challenged by the extreme working conditions.

He added the company is moving crews from non-affected areas to harder-hit regions today. Some of the hardest-hit areas are in Wake, Harnett and Johnston counties in North Carolina; and Greenville County in South Carolina.

Friday night, the company experienced problems with its outage reporting systems – causing customers difficulty when reporting outages or getting updates from the company.

"We apologize for any frustration and inconvenience this caused customers," added Yates.

Donation to the Red Cross
The Duke Energy Foundation will give a $25,000 donation to the American Red Cross to support storm relief provided during the winter storm. In the wake of the storm, the Red Cross provided relief to families in the most impacted counties served by the Triangle, Sandhills and Northeastern chapters in North Carolina, and the Greenville/Upstate chapter in South Carolina.

Customers should be prepared
Customers should be prepared for the potential of an extended outage. The company urges customers to:

  • Check supplies of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc.
  • Ensure a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA weather radio is on hand.
  • Avoid heating homes with a gas grill or bringing a generator inside. Such equipment should be operated only outdoors, and only in well-ventilated areas. Manufacturer instructions should be followed.
  • Check on family members, friends and neighbors who have special medical needs or who are elderly, to ensure they have necessary emergency supplies.
  • Determine now what action they would take in the event of an extended power outage.

Duke Energy customers whose accounts have medical indicators on them have been notified to consider making alternative arrangements in the event of an extended power outage.

Stay connected

  • Please continue to report your outage at 1-800-POWERON or 800-419-6356.
  • Customers may also text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
  • Customers can view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/winterstorm.

Duke Energy is also providing updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur.

Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all power lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with power lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy. 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.

Restoring power
Restoring power after a storm can be challenging, as travel conditions are poor. Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine which crews, 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.

As part of Duke Energy's process, customers may get a text or phone call from the company to confirm their power has returned. This video explains more about the restoration process.

About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 23 million people. It's Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

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 duke-energy.com

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