CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Less than 30,000 power outages remain Friday as Duke Energy crews continue to restore power to the roughly 1.5 million customers affected by Hurricane Matthew.
Except in flooded areas, remaining customers should have power restored by Saturday night. However, it could be days or weeks before about 13,000 customers in flooded areas are fully restored since power restoration crews have been unable to access damaged electrical lines and equipment.
"We are entering a new phase in restoring power - one that will be dictated by events out of our control. But we will continue working just as hard," said Bobby Simpson, who is overseeing Duke Energy's restoration efforts. "We are in this for the long haul. We have the personnel and equipment, and we will be in these communities until every last customer who can receive power has power."
Among the most flooded areas: Clinton, Goldsboro, Kinston and Lumberton in North Carolina; and Florence, Hartsville and Marion in South Carolina.
"Our commitment is steadfast for staying engaged with our customers in flooded communities," he added. "We are working with state and local officials in developing plans to restore service as safety and quickly as possible once waters recede and homes are habitable."
Although nearly 1.5 million customers were affected, the peak time for outages was Sunday morning Oct. 9 at 680,000 outages.
In terms of outages, Hurricane Matthew is the fifth-worst storm to hit the combined Duke Energy Carolinas/Duke Energy Progress service area – with damage similar in scale and severity to past storms such as Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
Thursday, Duke Energy donated $325,000 to help seven charities providing disaster relief assistance in several of the states it serves – North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
Customers whose homes 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 Duke Energy 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:
- 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 or flooded 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.
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