Duke Energy braces for severe weather in the Carolinas

Duke Energy is preparing for a severe weather system moving through the Carolinas Tuesday that could cause widespread power outages.

The company is monitoring the storm and anticipates the possibility of downed trees, limbs and power lines. Duke cautions customers that high winds may impede Duke Energy workers from assessing storm damage and restoring power.

“There have been many severe weather systems across the nation in recent weeks. Duke Energy meteorologists have been tracking them, and our crews are prepared to respond if needed,” said Jason Hollifield, Carolinas Storm Director. “It is our priority to keep our customers informed and encourage them to prepare in advance.”

In the meantime, Duke Energy is sharing important safety information as customers weather the storm.

Customers should already have a storm plan in place to ensure readiness for any power outages, even if extended. Kits might include things like medicine, water, nonperishable foods and other supplies that may be in high demand once the storm passes. The plan should also include how to move family members, particularly those with special needs, to a safe location if there is an extended power outage.

Customers should charge cell phones, computers and other electronic devices ahead of the storm while power is still readily available.

Duke also recommends keeping a portable radio or television or NOAA weather radio handy to monitor weather forecasts and other important information from state and local officials.

Customers should also educate themselves on how Duke restores power. The company focuses its restoration efforts first on areas that impact public health and safety facilities, then in areas that restore service to the greatest number of people as quickly and safely as possible.

If anyone sees a downed power line, they should take precautions. Stay away from downed lines or those that are sagging. Individuals should consider all lines energized, as well as anything such as trees or limbs that they are in contact with.

If a line falls on a vehicle an individual is operating, they should stay in the car. If staying in the vehicle is not an option due to fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, occupants should do their best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet, ensuring that no part of their body is touching the car when feet hit the ground.

Customers can report outages by texting “OUT” to 57801, or on Duke’s website or mobile app. Outages can also be reported by phone at 800-769-3766.

Duke’s website also includes real-time information on lake levels — the company continues to move water through its river systems to prepare for rainfall and runoff. Those who live on lakes and rivers in flood-prone areas should monitor levels and heed instruction from local emergency officials.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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