CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 7,000 workers made a major dent in the power outages today as Duke Energy responded to the winter storm that rolled through the Carolinas all-day Friday.
As of 7 p.m. today, the company has roughly 75,000 current power outages – half the 150,000 the company started with earlier today. More than 400,000 outages have been restored.
"Our crews have been on the ground working to get power to our customers," said Bobby Simpson, Duke Energy's storm director. "Our crews made major progress today and we expect to have an equally productive day Sunday."
Almost all outages will be restored by Sunday night – although some outages could linger into Monday night. High winds or continuing bad weather could slow work and lead to additional outages. Check the company's outage site for estimated restoration times.
Crews have been moved from non-affected areas to harder-hit regions, which include Wake, Harnett and Johnston counties in North Carolina; and Greenville County in South Carolina.
Donation to the Red Cross
The Duke Energy Foundation will give a $25,000 donation to the American Red Cross to support storm relief provided during the winter storm. In the wake of the storm, the Red Cross provided relief to families in the most impacted counties served by the Triangle, Sandhills and Northeastern chapters in North Carolina, and the Greenville/Upstate chapter in South Carolina.
Customers should be prepared
Customers should 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.
- Please continue to report your outage at 1-800-POWERON or 800-419-6356.
- Customers may also text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
- 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.
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 are 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.
As part of Duke Energy's process, customers may get a text or phone call from the company to confirm their power has returned. This video explains more about the restoration process.
Meter box damage and generators
Customers who have damaged meter boxes should get them repaired now to avoid delays in restoration. A video explaining meter-box damage is available.
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.
Duke Energy urges any customers who purchase generators to contact a licensed electrician for installation. Generators can be dangerous. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any questions about the operation of the unit.
If you are using a generator at your home to provide power until your service is restored, please watch for our crews and turn the generator off when they are in your area. The excess electricity created by your generator can feed back onto the electric lines, severely injuring a line technician who begins to work on a line, believing it to be de-energized.
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.
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SOURCE Duke Energy