Duke Energy customers advised to prepare for possible extended power outages

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Fallen power lines (Stock photo)

Duke Energy is monitoring the winter storm forecasted to bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to North Carolina and South Carolina tonight and early tomorrow, the company said in a media release.

Line technicians, service crews and other personnel are available throughout the company’s service areas and are ready to respond to outages and emergencies, if they occur.

Weather forecasts indicate the potential for significant ice accumulations, which can bring down trees and power lines, causing power outages.

Duke Energy’s preparation efforts include checking equipment, supplies and inventories.

Crews from Florida and other areas that are not expected to be affected by the storm will be arriving in the Carolinas this evening and tomorrow to assist with restoration efforts.

Duke Energy crews will be working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible; however, there is the potential for some outages to last a few days.

Duke Energy 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.
  • Not heat homes with a gas grill or bring 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.

Customers who experience an outage during the storm should call the 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

Customers can also report an outage or view current outages online at http://www.duke-energy.com/storms.

Additionally, customers who report an outage can choose to receive updates via text messaging until their outage is restored.

Duke Energy also will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur.

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, the company said.

If you lose power, 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.