"Until flood waters recede, we are unable to restore power to some areas," said Bobby Simpson, who is overseeing Duke Energy's restoration efforts. "Our focus is to continue to restore power in areas where we can access and work safely – and in communities where customers are in a position to receive electricity."
Simpson added extreme flooding will continue to hamper restoration in:
North Carolina – Areas surrounding Clinton, Goldsboro, Kinston and Lumberton
South Carolina – Areas surrounding Florence, Hartsville and Marion
More than one million customers in the Carolinas lost power as a result of Hurricane Matthew. At its peak, 680,000 Duke Energy customers were without power on Sunday morning Oct. 9.
The number of customers affected could continue to grow as specific rivers crest, potentially damaging more electrical equipment and causing additional outages.
In terms of outages, Hurricane Matthew is the fifth worst storm to hit the combined Duke Energy / Duke Energy Progress service area –with damage similar in scale to past storms like Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
Duke Energy has posted estimated times of restoration on its website. Customers should understand those restoration times reflect the latest time a customer's power could be restored. However, as crews assess specific areas, these times may be improved. Customers can view the latest updates about specific outages by zooming in on their locations on the map.
Once crews restore power to a trouble spot, the company's systems indicate all power provided by that device is on. We are using calls and text messages to gather information to determine remaining outages down the line. If you receive a call or text, it means we are actively working in your area. Please respond if you are still without power. This will assist us in restoring your power as quickly as possible.
Sometimes, repair work will require us to de-energize portions of the energy grid to allow crews to work safely. This could result in repeat, but brief, power outages to customers.
Duke Energy's customer service centers have supplemented their ranks to assist customers who call to report outages and emergencies.
Customers can report outages and electrical emergencies, such as downed lines and poles, by calling Duke Energy's automated outage-reporting system for their specific service area:
- Duke Energy Carolinas – 800.769.3766
- Duke Energy Progress – 800.419.6356
Customers can text OUT to 57801 to report an outage from their mobile phone. Be sure to use the mobile phone associated with the customer's account.
Customers who have damaged meter boxes will need to get them repaired and inspected to avoid delays in restoration. Here's a video explaining meter-box damage.
If a customer's meter box is pulled away from the house and the house is without power, the homeowner is responsible for contacting an electrician for a permanent fix. An electrical inspection may be required before the company can reconnect service.
If the meter box is pulled away from the house and the house still has power, the customer should call an electrician to re-attach the meter box.
If your residence or business is flooded, a local building inspector may need to inspect the structure before power can be reconnected.
Duke Energy urges everyone to be safe during this challenging time. Please follow these important tips:
- Do not attempt to reconnect your own power. That work is hazardous and should be completed by trained and qualified professionals.
- Our employees are trained to be vigilant and constantly aware of their surroundings.
- If, at any time, our crews believe they are in an unsafe situation, they will postpone the work until the area is safe and secure.
- Anyone encountering electrical equipment after a storm, whether it is a downed power line, a substation or a solar site, should take extreme caution and assume that the equipment is energized -- especially do not go near electrical equipment when it is immersed in standing water.
- Power lines can be hidden by debris and standing water so please be extremely careful moving around in damaged areas.
- "Move Over and Slow Down" Law: The "move over" law requires drivers to move over one lane when two or more lanes are available in each direction to make way for emergency responders, tow trucks, DOT incident management assistance patrols and roadside work crews, such as utility crews. On roads with only one traffic lane in each direction, drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop. Violators could face fines.
Stay Connected -- Duke Energy offers a number of ways for customers to get information about outages and restoration efforts.
- Online -- www.duke-energy.com/matthew. Customers can access outage maps and other information online from a computer or mobile device. Once on the map, customers can zoom in to their specific location and hover over the outage indicator nearest their home. A message box will appear showing total customers affected, status and an estimated time of restoration, if available.
- Facebook -- www.facebook.com/dukeenergy
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/DukeEnergy
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 7.4 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. The company also distributes natural gas to more than 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its commercial and international businesses operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing renewable energy portfolio.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about remarkable people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.
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SOURCE Duke Energy