CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Heavy rains and gusty winds are expected to accompany Hurricane Idalia as it passes through the Carolinas late Wednesday and into midday Thursday, bringing the potential for high winds, flooding and widespread power outages in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina.
More than 3,600 responders will be positioned and ready to support outage restoration in the hardest-hit areas.
While this storm is expected to weaken after it comes onshore in Florida, Duke Energy urges customers to prepare for the possibility of outages along the path of the storm.
“Hurricane Idalia is a strong storm with plenty of heavy rains and gusty winds. This combination could bring down trees and cause power outages in some areas,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s Carolinas storm director. “We have thousands of line and tree workers across the Carolinas ready to respond. We have also strengthened the energy grid and added smart technologies that can help reduce the impacts on customers.”
The safety of our customers and communities is important. Duke Energy encourages customers to have a plan in place to respond to an extended power outage after a hurricane or other severe weather. Below are some tips.
Before the storm
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, water, non-perishable foods and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm hits.
Keep a portable radio or TV or a NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
Charge mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of storms 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.
After the storm
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.
If a power line falls across a car that you are 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 how to prepare for storm season, and how Duke Energy can help, please visit duke-energy.com/StormTips.
For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy). 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.
Customers should contact us to make sure their contact information is up to date and their communication preferences are noted, so they can receive updates on the status of a power outage they’re experiencing.
Customers can report power outages in the following ways:
- Visiting duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
- Using the Duke Energy mobile app – Download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play.
- Texting OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
- Calling the automated outage-reporting system, at 800.POWERON (800.769.3766).
Customer service specialists will be available to manage customer calls should the need arise, with additional corporate responders from across all Duke Energy service areas available to assist as needed.
An interactive outage map is also available online, so customers can find up-to-date information on power outages, including the total number of outages systemwide and estimated times of restoration.
Strengthening the grid to reduce storm impacts
Additionally, Duke Energy has made significant improvements in recent years to strengthen the grid to make it more resistant to outages from severe weather. Improvements include pole and line upgrades, placing outage-prone lines underground, managing trees and vegetation near power lines, and the addition of smart, self-healing technology that can automatically detect power outages and quickly reroute power to restore service faster.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,600 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50% reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80% from electric generation by 2040. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
24-Hour Media Line