CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As of 8 a.m., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) reported about 190,000 outages the day after a winter storm rolled through the Carolinas. About 3,400 Duke Energy crews are in the field today continuing power restoration.
"Some of our service territory took a hard blow from the storm," said Jeff Corbett, senior vice president of Duke Energy's Carolinas Delivery Operations. "We are concentrating our efforts on assessing damage and working to restore power in these hard-hit areas.
You can access specific outage numbers for your region at www.duke-energy.com/storms. You can select your local utility from the following options on the site:
Duke Energy Progress – Which serves eastern N.C., eastern S.C. and Asheville, N.C.
Duke Energy Carolinas – Which serves the Piedmont area of N.C. and Upstate S.C.
The outages are split almost evenly between the two states, with roughly 92,000 in North Carolina and 98,000 in South Carolina. Among the hardest hits areas: New Hanover, Onslow and Wake counties in N.C.; and Florence and Sumter counties in S.C.
In addition, some areas like Dillon, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties in S.C. and Columbus County, N.C., have a large percentage of customers without power.
Overall, customer outages have totaled more than 500,000.
In some cases, a customer may have experienced more than one outage. Today, continued adverse weather will create additional outages. Customers should still contact the company to report outages.
In addition to 1,000 extra personnel from Duke Energy's Midwest and Florida operations, the company is moving crews in unaffected regions to areas of greatest need. Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress serve a wide geographic area of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Corbett thanked customers for their patience the urged caution.
"If you have to be on the road, please give our crews and other first responders plenty of room. We want them to be safe while they work," added Corbett.
Customers who experience an outage should call Duke Energy's automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:
Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356
Spanish-speaking customers can call: 1-866-4APAGON
Safety 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. 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.
Restoring power Restoring power after an ice storm can be challenging as travel conditions are poor. Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine what crews, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs. Because of this, customers may see damage assessors patrolling their neighborhoods before crews arrive to begin work.
Crews prioritize work to ensure the largest number of customers is restored as quickly as possible. Essential services such as hospitals and emergency responders have priority.
"Our crews will work as quickly and safely as possible to complete restorations," said Corbett. "Depending on the number of outages and the amount of damage sustained, we know from past storms some customers may experience multi-day outages.
"I cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared and having a plan in place now in the event your power goes off," he added. "We appreciate our customers and their advanced preparedness and patience as we endure this unprecedented event."
If you lose power, please turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This will help with restoration efforts as it will reduce the immediate demand on the power lines when power is restored.
Once your power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning your equipment back on.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.