Duke Energy brings in extra crews to help with storm
Posted February 11, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.