CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1,000 line technicians and other specialists today are continuing to restore power to Duke Energy customers in the Carolinas following Friday night's severe thunderstorm, similar in force to a major tropical storm.
As of 12:30 p.m. (ET) today, approximately 24,000 Duke Energy customers remained without electricity.
Approximately 350,000 customers lost power at some point during the storm.
The company expects to restore electricity by 11:45 p.m. (ET) Monday to most remaining customers who lost power, though some isolated outages might last longer due to damage to customer-owned electrical equipment, including meter boxes.
"We thank our customers for their patience, especially during this extremely hot and humid weather," said Duke Energy senior vice president John Smith. "The damage was severe and widespread, but our crews are making significant progress, restoring power to customers as quickly and safely as possible."
More than 400 workers from other utilities joined approximately 600 Duke Energy workers this weekend to expedite repairs. Additional crews from other utilities will arrive later today to assist.
The storm's nearly 70 mph winds blew trees and branches onto power lines, knocking down utility poles and cutting electricity to customers in western and central North Carolina and upstate South Carolina.
Hardest-hit counties were Mecklenburg, Gaston, Forsyth, Wilkes, Macon and Jackson in North Carolina, and Spartanburg in South Carolina.
There are three ways for customers to get the most up-to-date restoration / outage information:
Duke Energy's Online Outage Map – Customers can access the map from a computer or mobile device. Once on the map, customers should zoom in to their specific locations 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: http://outagemap.duke-energy.com/ncsc/default.html
Duke Energy's Proactive Outage Communication Programs – Customers can receive automatic alerts and outage updates via text, phone or email. Text REG to 57801 to register or sign up online: http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/outages/outage-alerts.asp
Phone – Customers who are without power can get up-to-date restoration times by calling the company's automated outage-reporting system: 800-769-3766.
The following video explains Duke Energy's power restoration process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQu_8vt65Do&app=desktop
Meter Box Damage
If a customer's meter box has pulled away from a residence due to storm damage and the customer is without power, the residence's owner is responsible for contacting an electrician for a permanent repair to the box. In some cases, an electrical inspection might be required before the company can reconnect service.
If the meter box has pulled away from the house but power has not been lost, the customer should still call an electrician to re-attach the meter box.
A video explaining meter-box damage is available at http://youtu.be/q_Qq7dzz1vQ.
Please give utility repair crews plenty of space on the road as you drive by. Also, please be watchful for downed or sagging power lines. 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 use a generator at home to provide power until your service is restored, 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 dangerous for crews making repairs. The excess electricity created by a generator can feed back onto the electric lines, severely injuring a line technician who might be working on a power line, believing it to be de-energized.
Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.4 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
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.
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SOURCE Duke Energy