Local News

Progress Energy Mobilizes Extra Crews; Other Power Companies Also Ready For Storm

Posted January 26, 2004

— Progress Energy crews are mobilizing for a second winter storm that is expected to bring freezing rain and accumulating ice to North Carolina on Monday.

More than 1,800 personnel are mobilized to respond.

"We were fortunate to have weathered Sunday's storm without major outages, but we stand prepared for what could be a significant icing event today," said Jackie Joyner, Progress Energy's system storm coordinator. "Mobilized personnel remain on call, and additional crews are en route now to assist with storm restoration.

"These personnel will be strategically placed throughout the service area to ensure that we can restore power to our customers as quickly and safely as possible."

Because of high call volume during a storm, the quickest way to report an outage is to call Progress Energy Carolina's automated outage-reporting system at

1-800-419-6356.

Duke Power also said it is ready to respond. To quickly report a power outage, call Duke Power's toll-free, automated outage-reporting system --

1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766).

Duke Power's Spanish speaking customers should call

1-866-4APAGON (427-2466)

for outage reporting assistance.

Customers also can check the Duke Power

Web site

for more information and tips on keeping warm.

Meanwhile, electric cooperative officials are keeping a close eye on the expected shot of winter precipitation that is expected to produce freezing rain in the central and western parts of the state Monday afternoon and into the evening.

If outages occur, electric cooperative customers should call their cooperative directly. A complete list of phone numbers to report outages and counties served by each co-op is listed on the N.C. Cooperatives

Web site.

In the first 48 hours after a storm, restoration times are difficult to predict. Any power customers who are without heat may want to consider moving themselves and their family -- especially those with special needs -- to an alternate location during an extended outage.

After severe weather, Progress Energy takes specific steps to restore power. Progress Energy crews first assess damage and determine what crews, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs.

The first repair priorities are transmission lines, high-voltage lines that deliver electricity from power plants to substations. Supported by tall metal or wooden structures, these lines cross fields, forests, mountains and even swamps.

Although protected by wide rights of way, the lines can be damaged by ice-laden falling branches and trees. Without these lines, power cannot be delivered to customers.

Also vital are substations, which reduce the voltage of electricity so power can be delivered to houses and businesses.

From substations, electricity is delivered to communities by feeder and tap lines. Individual customers receive power from service lines that branch off a tap or feeder line.

After making their repairs, transmission and substation crews join line and service crews in repairing feeder, tap and service lines. This strategy makes the best use of personnel and equipment.

Once transmission lines and substations can again deliver power, Progress Energy assigns priority to lines that serve hospitals, police departments, emergency services and other facilities that are essential to public health and safety.

Other restoration is prioritized by repairs that affect the largest number of customers. For example, a repair serving 200 customers is done before a repair serving five customers. This is the quickest way to restore power to the most customers.

Power customers are advised to take precautions in the event of winter weather:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Keep children and pets away as well. Always assume downed lines are energized.
  • Do not stand under ice-laden limbs or power lines. Be on the lookout for falling ice.
  • If you use a generator, always follow the manufacturer's directions.
  • 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.
  • Make sure you are adequately stocked with canned goods and bottled water.
  • Make sure any indoor heaters, like wood stoves or kerosene heaters, have adequate ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, make sure the flue of your fireplace is working properly. Never use outdoor grills in the house.
  • Make sure you have adequate fuel on hand for supplementary heating sources, such as a fireplace, wood-burning stove or kerosene heater.
  • To provide a resource for customers, Progress Energy recently launched an expanded storm information

    Web site.

    The new site includes interactive presentations on how customers can prepare for major storms and what they can do if a power outage occurs as a result of a storm.

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