AP NEWS

Duke restores power to more than 1M customers out of 1.4M outages

September 17, 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy has restored power to more than 1 million customers so far in North Carolina and South Carolina out of more than 1.4 million total power outages in the wake of what is now Tropical Depression Florence.

Some of the most challenging power restoration work remains ahead in currently inaccessible coastal areas that experienced massive flooding and structural damage.

Duke Energy this weekend moved crews and equipment as close as possible to those heavily impacted areas to enable comprehensive restoration work to begin as soon as conditions allow.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, 404,000 customers – 381,000 in North Carolina and 23,000 in South Carolina – remained without power.

Additional outages were expected Sunday night as the storm continued to impact the Carolinas.

In 12 of North Carolina’s hardest-hit counties, more than 75 percent of Duke Energy’s customers have lost power: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Pitt and Robeson.

Duke Energy has dispatched more than 20,000 personnel to restore power. Their efforts are being hampered by severe flooding, road closures, wind gusts and storm debris in coastal and other areas of the Carolinas.

For example, vehicle access to many sections of Wilmington, North Carolina, and New Bern, North Carolina, remains impossible due to widespread flooding that has forced the closure of major highways and secondary roads.

Estimated power restoration times

With the slow-moving storm and massive damage in some areas, comprehensive damage assessments have been difficult to complete and power restoration times have been difficult to determine.

The company late Sunday was able to conduct limited initial damage assessments by helicopter in some areas.

To give customers as much information as possible, Duke Energy has established 12 separate areas for restoration across the Carolinas to provide targeted updates. A map showing these areas will be continuously updated.

In addition, Duke Energy will send impacted customers updated information via text messages.

In hard-hit areas, estimated restoration times will be determined after field crews first complete damage assessments. That process could take several days due to flooding and road closures.

In those areas, total power restoration might take weeks, rather than days, due to flooding and widespread damage to power lines, utility poles and other key components of the electric grid.

How to report power outages

Visit dukeenergyupdates.com for storm or power restoration updates. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).

Storm updates

Storm updates and videos from Duke Energy can be found at dukeenergyupdates.com

Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines

>> Stay away from fallen and sagging power lines. Keep children, pets and others away from power lines.

>> Consider all power lines – as well as trees, branches and anything else in contact with power lines – energized and dangerous.

>> Use extreme caution when traversing damaged and flooded areas. Energized power lines could be hidden by debris and flood waters.

High-water safety reminders

>> The Duke Energy hydro operations team continues to aggressively move water through its river systems to reduce impacts as much as possible. Stay alert to changing conditions, as significant rainfall will lead to even higher lake levels.

>> High water conditions can create navigational hazards. Use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes and rivers.

>> For updated lake level information, go to duke-energy.com/community/lakes or call Duke Energy’s lake neighbor information phone line at 800-829-Lake (5253) (Duke Energy Carolinas lakes) and 800-899-4435 (Duke Energy Progress lakes).

Safety information for extended power outages

>> Never use a generator indoors. Always follow manufacturer instructions.

>> Keep at least one battery-powered flashlight where it can be located easily in the dark.

>> Listen for storm information on a battery-powered radio.

>> Keep an extra supply of fresh batteries.

>> Never use outdoor grills in the house.

Medical needs

>> Families who have special medical needs should continue to closely monitor their situations and call 911 if the situation becomes life-threatening.

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