CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As this unpredictable winter storm continues to unfold, Duke Energy is strategically moving crews to those areas affected throughout the Carolinas.
"We have seen outage numbers increase in portions of eastern North and South Carolina throughout the day," said Bobby Simpson, Duke Energy's storm director. "Just as the type of precipitation has been unpredictable, so is the path of the storm."
Duke Energy is closely monitoring the situation as a combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain continues to fall across the Carolinas and many parts of the Southeast.
About 3,200 employees and contractors from Duke Energy in the Carolinas, along with more than 3,600 personnel from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Indiana, Oklahoma, Michigan and Texas, have restored over 20,000 customers to date, but the number of outages has gradually risen throughout the day.
While the full impact of the winter storm may not be known for some time, Duke Energy wants customers to be prepared for the potential of an extended outage. The company urges customers to:
- Check supplies of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc.
- Ensure a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA weather radio is on hand.
- Avoid heating homes with a gas grill or bringing a generator inside. Such equipment should be operated only outdoors, and only in well-ventilated areas. Manufacturer instructions should be followed.
- Check on family members, friends and neighbors who have special medical needs or who are elderly, to ensure they have necessary emergency supplies.
- Determine now what action they would take in the event of an extended power outage.
Duke Energy customers whose accounts have medical indicators on them have been notified to consider making alternative arrangements in the event of an extended power outage.
The company is currently experiencing intermittent problems with our outage reporting systems. We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this issue. Please continue to try and report your outage on 1-800-POWERON or 800-419-6356.
Customers can view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/winterstorm.
Duke Energy is also providing updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur.
- Duke Energy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DukeEnergy
- Duke Energy on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DukeEnergy
Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all power lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with power lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy. If a power line falls across a car 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 no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
Restoring power after a storm can be challenging, as travel conditions are poor. Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine which 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 response facilities, are the first priority.
If you lose power, please turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This helps with restoration efforts because it reduces the immediate demand on power lines when power is restored.
Once your power is restored, please wait a few minutes before turning your equipment back on.
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 23 million people. It's 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 a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
SOURCE Duke Energy