Duke Energy is prepared to restore as many as 1 million power outages caused by wintry precipitation and high winds from a storm approaching North Carolina and South Carolina.
People should have a plan in place if they experience an extended power outage.
Reporting outages, receiving updates
Customers can sign up to receive outage alerts. Throughout the storm, the company will also update customers through email, phone, text, duke-energy.com; @DukeEnergy on Twitter and facebook.com/DukeEnergy.
How to report a power outage:
Temperatures are forecast to be below freezing Friday and Saturday in many areas of both states. Customers should consider alternate locations, the company said, for family members who are elderly or who have special medical needs, if outages are extended.
Duke Energy has thousands of employees and contractors supporting the company’s response, including 5,400 line technicians and vegetation workers. More than 1,300 of those workers are from the company’s Midwest and Florida service areas and from other companies.
Ice buildup causing trees and branches to fall on power lines is usually the culprit for power outages during an ice storm. Ice buildup of a quarter inch or more is often the amount that causes trees and branches to fall.
Workers are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure workers have materials to make repairs and restore outages. Duke Energy has completed aerial inspections of its transmission lines in the communities expected to be hit hardest and found no threats.
The company has an adequate supply of electricity to meet energy demands; outages related to power generation are not expected.
Weather and travel conditions might be hazardous and challenging and could delay workers’ ability to assess damage and restore service. Following the storm, crews will assess the extent of damage – which can sometimes take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed.
Damage assessments occur while other workers restore power in some areas. Estimated times of restoration will be provided when damage assessments are completed.
The company will provide regular updates to its customers and communities through email, text messages, phone calls, social media and its website.
Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicine, water, nonperishable food, blankets, travel bags and supplies that might be hard to find after a storm. Your emergency kit should also include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap, and face coverings aligned with CDC guidance.
- Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices before storms to stay connected to safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged.
- Use a portable radio or TV or NOAA weather radio to monitor weather forecasts and information from state and local officials.
- Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Report downed power lines to Duke Energy.
- If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you must get out due to a fire or other life-threatening situation, jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
- If you use a generator, follow the instructions to ensure safe and proper operation. Operate your generator outside. Never operate it inside a building or garage.
Heavy rainfall will result in higher lake and river levels across the Catawba River basin. Duke Energy is moving water through the river system, including moving water through our hydro generating units and flood gates.
Lake residents should prepare for flooding and monitor lake levels. High-water conditions can create navigational hazards.
The company urges people living along lakes and rivers and in flood-prone areas to use caution, follow directions from emergency management officials, and monitor weather and stream-flow conditions.
Updates: duke-energy.com/lakes; 800.829.5253; Lake View app (downloadable from your cellphone app store).