CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With snow, sleet and freezing rain expected in the Carolinas this weekend, Duke Energy is ready to respond to possible power outages.
As Duke Energy's team of meteorologists continues to monitor the storm's development, Duke Energy crews are making preparations to safely handle weather-related service interruptions.
Heavy, wet snow or freezing precipitation can cause trees and tree limbs to fall or sag onto power lines, resulting in power outages. These outages typically occur when there is more than six inches of wet snow or a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation on trees.
“Customers need to be prepared for a wintry mix that will bring with it the potential to cause outages in our service area,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy Carolinas storm director. “Across the Carolinas, we have power line and tree crews, and other storm personnel, ready to safely respond to power outages this weekend.”
Duke Energy is bringing in nearly 600 teammates from the company’s other service areas, including the Midwest and Florida, to assist with power restoration across the Carolinas.
The company has also secured approximately 1,000 workers from other utilities who are scheduled to arrive in the Carolinas by Saturday to help restore power quickly and safely to impacted customers.
As Duke Energy has done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, storm crews will follow social distancing protocols while on duty and working to restore power to ensure safety for both customers and crews.
Winter storm safety reminders
Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always good to be prepared for whatever conditions occur.
Customers can take steps to safely prepare for winter weather and outages that may impact them by doing the following:
- Ensure an adequate supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc., as well as the availability of a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or weather radio.
- Customers should make alternate shelter arrangements as needed if you will be significantly impacted by a loss of power – especially families who have special medical needs or elderly members.
- If a power line falls across a car that you’re in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
- Be aware that snow can cause hazardous driving conditions resulting in traffic accidents and downed power poles resulting in isolated outages. If you are driving and encounter emergency responders or other roadside work crews, remember to MOVE OVER.
- If you use a generator due to a power outage, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper operation. Operate your generator outside; never operate it inside a building or garage.
- Don’t use grills or other outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking, as these devices may emit carbon monoxide.
- 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. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy or local emergency services.
- Be prepared for an emergency by purchasing an emergency preparedness kit from Red Cross.
Reporting power outages
Customers who experience a power outage should report the outage using Duke Energy's automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:
- Customers can report an outage by texting OUT to 57801 or may also report an outage or view current outages on the Duke Energy app or at www.duke-energy.com/outages.
- Duke Energy Carolinas: 1.800.POWERON (1.800.769.3766)
- Duke Energy Progress: 1.800.419.6356
- Duke Energy will also provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur:
- Duke Energy on Twitter: twitter.com/DukeEnergy Duke Energy on Facebook: facebook.com/DukeEnergy