Duke Energy workforce of 9,000 responding to power outages in the Carolinas

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  • Company expecting multi-day outages due to wet snow, sleet and freezing rain

  • Power restored to 80,000 customers so far

  • Duke Energy stresses customer safety at home and on the road

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Almost 9,000 personnel are responding to Duke Energy power outages due to a winter storm that is rolling through the Carolinas this weekend.

Customers can follow the latest developments on the winter storm and Duke Energy's efforts to restore power at: https://www.dukeenergyupdates.com/.

As of noon today, the company reported 240,000 outages – 170,000 in North Carolina and 70,000 in South Carolina. The company has restored power to 80,000 customers since last night and early this morning.

"We appreciate the patience of our customers, who are personally dealing with the impacts of the storm," said Duke Energy Storm Director Jason Hollifield. "We are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to our affected areas."

Among the hardest hit counties:

North Carolina: Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Mecklenburg, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania and Wake counties.

South Carolina: Greenville and Spartanburg counties.

A mix of heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain are causing branches to sag and trees to fall, bringing power lines down with them. Also, hazardous road conditions are resulting in vehicle accidents. Cars hitting power poles and other electrical infrastructure further increase the risk of power outages.

The company typically requires 12-24 hours to fully assess damage from a significant weather event, even while simultaneously restoring power. Winter storms can present additional challenges to moving personnel and equipment within hard-hit areas.

Safety reminders

With temperatures below freezing, customers should make a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs. The company urges everyone to be prepared and stay safe – and encourage other family members, friends and neighbors to do the same. 

  • If you plan to 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.
  • Don't use grills or other outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking, as these devices may emit carbon monoxide (CO). The following are symptoms of CO poisoning:
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Headache
    • Drowsiness
    • Ringing sensation in the ears
    • Nausea
    • Blurred vision
    • Chest pains
    • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, open doors and windows, leave your home / business and consult a physician.
  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy.
  • 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.
  • If you are driving and encounter emergency responders or other roadside work crews, remember to MOVE OVER, it's the law in North Carolina and South Carolina, and a good practice for all drivers.

Reporting outages

Customers who experience an outage during the storm have multiple ways to report it:

  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
  • Call the automated outage-reporting system at 800.POWERON for Duke Energy Carolinas customers and 800-419-6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.
  • Report an outage or view current outages online at www.dukeenergyupdates.com
  • Duke Energy will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur:
  • Duke Energy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DukeEnergy
  • Duke Energy on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DukeEnergy

About Duke Energy

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts.

The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues.

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Contact: Corporate Communications
24-Hour: 800.559.3853