CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Duke Energy is taking advantage of resources available to help areas that’ll be impacted by Hurricane Elsa.
The company operates in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, the Carolinas and Florida, giving Duke Energy the ability to move resources from other areas not affected by the storm’s path when severe weather hits.
According to Duke Energy's website, "the company’s storm center has been activated and about 3,000 Duke Energy crew members, contractors, tree specialists and other personnel are being staged from Pinellas County to north Florida."
That help also includes workers from North Carolina.
“Our Florida service area is probably going to bare the bigger brunt of it, but we do expect to see some impacts potentially in central and eastern North Carolina in particular,” said Jeff Brooks, Duke Energy spokesperson based in North Carolina. “We’re sending about 400 lineworkers and support personnel to help local crews in Florida. They’re actually in place now down in central Florida and will be distributed where they need to be to support local operations there.”
Duke Energy confirmed most of the 400 workers deployed in Florida are from the western part of North Carolina.
“That’s the area that will see less impact, perhaps, from the storm,” Brooks said. “Some of those workers did come from the Charlotte metro area and, additionally, the crews we have in Charlotte and the surrounding areas would be the crews mostly like to be repositioned to the coastal areas for the Carolinas.”
Even though it is important to help impacted areas, Brooks said the company is making sure the local community is still supported.
“We have a large contingent here in North Carolina ready to respond,” he explained. “About 1,000 crew members in eastern North Carolina and the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. There’s several hundred more in the Charlotte area and the Triad that can be repositioned to travel, if needed, to support those crews once the storm passes. It is a large army of resources that’s ready to respond.”
Preparation is key when it comes to severe weather, Brooks said.
“You have to take every storm seriously,” he explained. “We’re prepared for impacts potentially anywhere in the state. We encourage customers to have a plan in place if they do lose power due to severe weather. This storm is a great opportunity to make sure you have all your plans in place. It is just July, and we’re already to an E storm. So, it is going to be an active season. This probably won’t be the last tropical system we’ll see.”
Duke Energy provided several tips for customers to keep in mind while dealing with severe weather.
Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines.
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.
Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes.
Keep a portable radio or TV or a NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of the storm to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.
Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs, or evacuation is required.
High-water safety reminders
People who live along lakes and rivers, and in other low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding, should pay close attention to local emergency management officials, National Weather Service and media for changing weather conditions and rising lake and river levels.
High-water conditions can create navigational hazards, and the public should use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes or rivers.
If rising water threatens your home – or if you evacuate your home – turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over – and don't stand near – downed power lines.
Downed lines will be hard to see in the rain and can potentially be hidden in standing water. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.
If your home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.
Power restoration process
Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
Use the Duke Energy mobile app (download the Duke Energy app on your smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play).
Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
Call Duke Energy’s automated outage-reporting system: 800.228.8485
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