Local News

Duke Energy brings in extra crews to help with storm

Posted February 11, 2014

— Hundreds of utility workers arrived in North Carolina from out of state Tuesday, poised to help restore electricity if Wednesday's winter storm causes widespread power outages across the state.

Duke Energy officials said 150 power workers were on their way to Greensboro from Ohio and Kentucky. Another 200 were heading up from Florida to Florence, S.C. That's where they'll wait until they see what areas in North Carolina need attention.

The utility also had crews out Tuesday to remove trees and branches that could bring down power lines during an ice storm.

"Our crews are going to begin restoring outages once they happen," Duke Energy spokeswoman Amy Specker said.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Lisa Parrish said when there is a widespread outage, areas near hospitals are repaired first.

Areas that include emergency operations centers and 911 call centers are also a top priority.

Once electricity is restored to those essential facilities, crews focus on places with the largest populations.

Customers of Duke Energy Progress should report outages at 1-800-POWER-ON and 1-800-419-6356. The utility posts outage information online on a map.

Parrish and Specker also asked for patience during outages, saying crews will work as fast as they can to restore power.

"We are customers, too. We understand this," Specker said. "We are going to be doing our best to make restorations as quickly and safely as we possibly can, and we appreciate our customers' patience."

Prepare for power loss

  • Fill up your gas tank. When the power's out, the pumps don't work.
  • Hit the ATM for cash. Credit and debit cards won't be of use during a power outage.
  • Charge cellphones and make adjustments to conserve the battery. For example, clear running apps, lower screen brightness and turn off Wifi until needed.
  • Gather extra batteries for flashlights and skip open candle flames to avoid a potential fire.
  • Keep the refrigerator closed. Foods will keep safely for about four hours in a closed fridge and about 48 hours in the freezer.

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • bonnnie Feb 12, 2014

    Thank you Duke Power & the help on the way. Be safe.

  • Don Dickerson Feb 12, 2014
    user avatar

    I know sniping is the standing order around here, but do remember a lot of the guys and gals who will be out in this also worked for Progress and before that CP&L, so cut the local guys some slack. We all have heard something or other negative about Duke before they took over, but do you REALLY want to be out there publically dismissing the folks you're going to need rather greatly in the next 36 or so hours?

  • arfamr1009 Feb 12, 2014

    I'm sure Duke will be asking for a rate increase next week to "cover the costs of contractors"

  • John Paul Bertke Feb 11, 2014
    user avatar

    I saw that headline "Duke Energy brings in extra crews to help with..."

    and at first I thought

    "...to help with the coal ash spills in Asheville, Charlotte, and Eden".

    With a storm coming, Duke Energy has contractors ready even before the storm hits...excellent!

    With coal ash spills...not so good. Mercury, arsenic, aluminum, and other contaminants still in our rivers years later.

  • uscnnc Feb 11, 2014

    I hope they are have contractors coming in, cause some of the DE guys don't have a clue what they are doing. The contractors will have the lights back on a lot quicker.