Duke Energy calls in 1,600 crew members to help with potential power outages ahead of winter storm

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — With the second round of snow, rain and freezing temperatures hitting the area, Duke Energy officials said they are fully staffed in case of any power outages.

Officials with Duke Energy said they are monitoring the expected storm and have called crews from all over the country to travel into the Carolinas and be ready at a moment’s notice.

Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks said they have called in 600 teammates in other service areas to help with getting power back on.

“We have several hundred utility crews in the region, and they’re locally ready to go, but we also bought in reinforcements from Florida from the Midwest and about 1,000 contract crews, so that’s about 1600 additional people that have been bought into the Carolinas,” said Brooks.

Brooks said customers need to expect some neighborhoods will be out of power some longer than others, and they need to be prepared ahead of time.

“Winter storms are much harder to predict than summer storms, so making sure that you understand that you could experience a power outage that extends beyond a single day that’s what we want to keep you aware,” said Brooks.

Brooks said heavy wet snow, sleet, and freezing temperatures are a mixture to put weight on trees and power lines. He also said it’s a combination to potentially knock them over and cause damage to the homes and other property. 

Brooks also said the central area of the Interstate 85 corridor is an area that is expected to see more of an impact in outages than places more east.

With blackouts to be expected in some areas, Brooks said customers need to be prepared as well.

Officials said to keep flashlights, batteries, battery-operated radio, TV on hand also have plans to stay somewhere warm with power if needed. Brooks said if a power line should fall, consider it live and stay away from it.

To report a power outage, use Duke Energy’s automated outage-reporting systems for your respective utility:

  • Duke Energy Carolinas: 1.800.POWERON (1.800.769.3766)
  • Duke Energy Progress: 1.800.419.6356

Officials said they would keep customers informed of updates on Twitter and Facebook.

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