September 16, 2018 - 6:12 PM EDT
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Duke Energy has restored power to more than 1 million customers out of 1.4 million total outages in wake of Florence

- 404,000 customers remain without power in Carolinas as of 4 p.m. today

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy has restored power to more than 1 million customers so far in North Carolina and South Carolina out of more than 1.4 million total power outages in the wake of what is now Tropical Depression Florence.

New Duke Energy logo. (PRNewsFoto/Duke Energy)

Some of the most challenging power restoration work remains ahead in currently inaccessible coastal areas that experienced massive flooding and structural damage.

Duke Energy this weekend moved crews and equipment as close as possible to those heavily impacted areas to enable comprehensive restoration work to begin as soon as conditions allow.

As of 4 p.m. today, 404,000 customers – 381,000 in North Carolina and 23,000 in South Carolina – remained without power. Latest outage numbers can be found here.

Additional outages are expected tonight as the storm continues to impact the Carolinas.

In 12 of North Carolina's hardest-hit counties, more than 75 percent of Duke Energy's customers have lost power: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Pitt and Robeson.  

Duke Energy has dispatched more than 20,000 personnel to restore power. Their efforts are being hampered by severe flooding, road closures, wind gusts and storm debris in coastal and other areas of the Carolinas.

For example, vehicle access to many sections of Wilmington, N.C., and New Bern, N.C., remains impossible due to widespread flooding that has forced the closure of major highways and secondary roads.

Estimated power restoration times

With the slow-moving storm and massive damage in some areas, comprehensive damage assessments have been difficult to complete and power restoration times have been difficult to determine.

The company late today was able to conduct limited initial damage assessments by helicopter in some areas.

To give customers as much information as possible, Duke Energy has established 12 separate areas for restoration across the Carolinas to provide targeted updates. A map showing these areas will be continuously updated. See the latest map for the latest updates today.

In addition, Duke Energy will send impacted customers updated information via text messages.

In hard-hit areas, estimated restoration times will be determined after field crews first complete damage assessments. That process could take several days due to flooding and road closures.

In those areas, total power restoration might take weeks, rather than days, due to flooding and widespread damage to power lines, utility poles and other key components of the electric grid.

How to report power outages

For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).

Storm updates

Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines

  • Stay away from fallen and sagging power lines. Keep children, pets and others away from power lines.
  • Consider all power lines – as well as trees, branches and anything else in contact with power lines – energized and dangerous.
  • Use extreme caution when traversing damaged and flooded areas. Energized power lines could be hidden by debris and flood waters.

High-water safety reminders

  • The Duke Energy hydro operations team continues to aggressively move water through its river systems to reduce impacts as much as possible. Please stay alert to changing conditions, as significant rainfall will lead to even higher lake levels.
  • High water conditions can create navigational hazards. Please use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes and rivers.
  • For updated lake level information, go to duke-energy.com/community/lakes or call Duke Energy's lake neighbor information phone line at 800-829-Lake (5253) (Duke Energy Carolinas lakes) and 800.899.4435 (Duke Energy Progress lakes).

Safety information for extended power outages

  • Never use a generator indoors. Always follow manufacturer instructions.
  • Keep at least one battery-powered flashlight where it can be located easily in the dark.
  • Listen for storm information on a battery-powered radio
  • Keep an extra supply of fresh batteries.
  • Never use outdoor grills in the house.

Medical needs

Families who have special medical needs should continue to closely monitor their situations and call 911 if the situation becomes life-threatening.  

Duke Energy

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts.

The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

24-Hour: 800.559.3853

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SOURCE Duke Energy


Source: PR Newswire (September 16, 2018 - 6:12 PM EDT)

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