RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — From Duke Energy’s control room to the sky, crews are keeping a close eye on power outages as Nicole makes its way to the Carolinas.
“We do anticipate seeing outages in some areas. Right now, our local crews are on alert and ready to respond,” said Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson for the company.
He says they have about 6,000 line and tree workers in the Carolinas.
“They’ll be ready to respond in whatever communities that experience outages and then we can very quickly redeploy crews to other areas to assist them and make sure that we’ve got the most resources available to help with outage restoration,” said Brooks.
Duke Energy is also using drones to assess outages and damage.
“One of the biggest challenges, though, are the trees that are even farther away from power lines. In many of our communities, we have great big oaks or great big pines. Those can fall from 30, 40, 50 feet away and still cause a power outage, so we’ll be ready to respond to those types of outages,” said Brooks.
Ahead of the storm, crews are doing what they can to prevent outages, he said.
“We do trim trees year-round for that and we’ve been making a lot of grid improvements to strengthen the grid so that when those types of tree-related outages happen, we have more ability to reroute power or to restore power faster when that occurs,” said Brooks.
If customers do happen to experience a downed power line in their yard or neighborhood, Duke Energy says they should make sure to report it. Also, people should not go near any downed lines. The company says it is best to assume the lines are still energized.