Duke Energy urges customers to stay safe as Tropical Storm Nicole moves through Florida

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  • Customers should follow the instructions and warnings of emergency management officials

  • Widespread damage from high winds, heavy rain continue to cause power outages; more are likely to occur throughout the day

  • Crews will begin power restoration as soon as conditions are safe to do so

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Duke Energy Florida is urging customers to take precautions as Tropical Storm Nicole continues to move through Florida today, cutting power to thousands of customers.

“Safety is our first concern after every storm,” said Todd Fountain Duke Energy Florida’s storm director. “Our crews are ready to begin power restoration as soon as weather conditions safely allow. I thank our customers for their patience and urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect your family and property.”

Restoring power after a storm can be extremely challenging for repair crews, as travel and work conditions can be impacted by high winds and potential flooding – making repair work lengthy and difficult in some areas.

For employee safety, Duke Energy line technicians do not perform elevated work in bucket trucks when winds are excessive. When the storm passes and wind speeds drop below 39 miles per hour making it safe for travel, crews will begin damage assessment and repairs.

The safety of our customers and communities is important. Duke Energy encourages customers to take the following steps in the event they lose power.

What to do if power goes out

  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging, or may be hiding in floodwater and debris. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Report all power line hazards to Duke Energy at 800.228.8485 or contact your local emergency services department or agency.
  • 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.
  • Disconnect or turn off any nonessential electrical equipment that may start automatically when power is restored to avoid overloading circuits.
  • Do not open freezers or refrigerators more than necessary. Opening will allow food to thaw more quickly. For more, see the FDA’s food safety guidelines.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through floodwaters.
  • If you use a generator due to a power outage, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper operation. Operate your generator outside; never operate it inside a building or garage. Please watch for utility crews and turn the generator off when crews are in your area. The electrical load on the power lines can be hazardous for crews making repairs.
  • Don’t use grills or other outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking, as these devices may emit carbon monoxide.

Flooding and Electrical Safety

  • If rising water threatens your home or business – or if you evacuate due to flooding – turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
  • Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed electrical lines.
  • Don't drive over – and don't stand near – downed electrical lines.
  • Never replace a fuse or touch a circuit breaker with wet hands, or while standing on a wet or damp surface.
  • If your home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make necessary repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

More tips on what to do during and after a storm can be found at duke-energy.com/StormTips.

Power restoration process

Duke Energy restores power in a sequence starting with public health and safety facilities and equipment that restores the greatest number of customers. Click here for more information on how Duke Energy restores power.

Estimated restoration times – once determined for specific areas – will be posted at duke-energy.com/outages/current-outages.

Customers who are registered to receive Duke Energy text outage alerts will receive a text once an estimated restoration time is established for their location.

Outage Reporting

Customers who experience a power outage can report it the following ways:

  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
  • Use the Duke Energy mobile app (download the Duke Energy app on your smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play).
  • Call Duke Energy’s automated outage reporting system: 800.769.3766 (800.POWERON).

For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy) or visit dukeenergyupdates.com.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,300 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

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 28,000 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 2022 “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 TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Bill Norton
Cell: 704.763.6059
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