Answers to your Hurricane Irma power restoration questions

Answers to your Hurricane Irma power restoration questions

Where are the trucks? Why do my neighbors have power and I don’t? And more …

Duke Energy prepares for storm outages the same way an army prepares for battle. There are hours of preparation to make sure everything is in place. And then after the storm, the company starts a comprehensive damage assessment that determines where to send workers and equipment. Helicopters and drones assist major response efforts.

Restoration is a complex process and customers can be assured that work is underway even if you don’t see crews in your neighborhood.

Q. Who gets their power back first?

Priorities are restoring power to critical infrastructure such as emergency centers, fire stations, hospitals and public safety facilities. At the same time, the company is safely repairing major transmission lines, damaged substations and other large-scale equipment to restore power to the largest number of customers as quickly as possible. Work to restore power to small areas and individual customers follows large-scale repairs.

Q. If Duke Energy has an efficient restoration strategy, why does it still take so long for some people to get their power back?

Before power lines can be strung, trees must be cleared, utility poles must be replaced, and in many cases with hurricanes, flooding must subside before any work can begin. Trees must be cleared for travel and some areas have to be accessed on foot due to rugged or rural terrain.

Q. Why are all those trucks and crews hanging around that staging area?

The key to a swift and efficient restoration effort is coordination. Staging areas provide a central location for amassing the army of linemen, tree crews and support staff. This is where personnel receive their assignments, all designed to provide the safest and efficient strategy.

Q. Why don’t I see crews in my neighborhood?

Safety is Duke Energy’s No. 1 priority in responding to outages. Making restorations that affect the most customers is also an important consideration. If crews are not yet in your neighborhood, it’s because work is still being performed on the main transmission, substation or distribution lines that feed your neighborhood. This work is necessary before they can re-energize the power lines in your neighborhood or to your home.

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Q. Why is my power out when my neighbors’ power is on?

This happens because different outages have different causes. It’s also possible your power is routed from a different power line or there’s a problem with your individual service line or meter.

Q. Why did my power turn on, then back off?

Your power might go back out again after it is restored because additional damage is discovered that needs repair. We know this is frustrating, but it's also good news because it means crews are working in your area.

Q. Why are there discrepancies on the outage map?

For Florida, on the outage by county report, the outage and restoration numbers will not add up to the total number of customers served because a customer may have multiple outages and restorations, which are included in these totals. In addition, some counties may not have everyone impacted by the event. This will also contribute to the numbers not adding up to total customers.

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