Duke Energy crews restore power in Carolinas as milder winter storm moves through region

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  • Warmer temperatures than predicted result in fewer ice-related power outages than initially projected.

  • 5,000 customers without power, as of 5:30 p.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Slightly warmer temperatures today than most meteorologists had predicted have resulted in fewer ice-related power outages than initially projected for Duke Energy’s Carolinas customers as a winter storm moves through the region.

As of 5:30 p.m., 5,000 Carolinas customers – almost all in North Carolina – were without power. South Carolina experienced few outages.

Duke Energy crews tonight will work to restore power to as many customers as possible.

Duke Energy is providing estimated power restoration times for specific counties at duke-energy.com/outages/current-outages.

General storm-related information can be found at Duke Energy Updates.

Duke Energy also cautioned that additional power outages are possible in parts of North Carolina tonight and early tomorrow as a second wave of precipitation – some of it potentially freezing rain – crosses the state, particularly in the Triad and Triangle areas. The company’s repair crews remain ready to respond to any new outages that might occur.

“Today, just a few degrees in temperature made all the difference in sparing our customers from what could have been a devastating ice storm,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s Carolinas incident commander. “I want to thank our customers and our repair crews for their preparations ahead of this storm. And for our customers who lost power today, we appreciate your patience and are safely working to restore electricity to your homes and businesses as quickly as possible.”

Initially, Duke Energy had projected nearly 1 million Carolinas customers could lose power as freezing rain was predicted to cause significant ice buildup on trees and branches, which in turn would topple onto power lines – as during previous major ice storms.

Warmer temperatures – and a slight change in the storm’s track from what originally had been predicted – averted that scenario.

In advance of the storm, Duke Energy had staged more than 7,000 workers to respond, including many who traveled to the Carolinas from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Florida.

How to report power outages

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

  • Use the Duke Energy mobile app (download the Duke Energy App on your smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play).
  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Call Duke Energy’s automated outage-reporting system:

           - Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)

           - Duke Energy Progress: 800.419.6356 

Important safety tips

  • Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines – which still could be energized and dangerous. Keep children and pets away from power lines also.
  • 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 need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 29,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 2,300 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Media contact: 800.559.3853