Duke Energy prepares for power outages
DARLINGTON, S.C. – More than 20,000 personnel from Duke Energy and other providers are staging to respond to the power outages expected to be caused by Hurricane Florence.
Darlington Raceway is the staging location for some of the equipment that will be used to restore power in the Pee Dee, the Grand Strand and southern North Carolina. The personnel who will use the equipment are staying at the Florence Center. The Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology Center on the Florence-Darlington Technical College campus also is a staging location. The equipment and personnel come from the Midwest and Florida. They represent Duke, several contractors and even other utility providers from other states.
“We’re going to be using the speedway [Darlington Raceway] as a central staging area for the vehicles – the really big vehicles like the big bucket trucks – for a number of teams that are coming to support the restoration effort,” Duke spokesman Ryan Mosier said.
Darlington and Florence were selected because of the centralized location and easy access to southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. This means that the company can send crews to the locations they are needed.
Duke expects between 1 million and 3 million power outages from the storm, which is expected arrive this evening. Restoring power in or after a hurricane can be difficult because of winds, rain, and road conditions.
Mosier said Duke has 100 years of experience working to restore power after hurricanes. He said that once a storm is identified, planning for staging begins, and then resources are deployed to those locations and respond as needed.
He also thanked the Florence Center, the SiMT and Darlington Raceway for their support and cooperation in serving as locations for staging.