CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy projects Hurricane Michael could cause 300,000 to 500,000 power outages in North Carolina and South Carolina this week, based on the storm’s current forecasted track.
The power outage projections are based on the company’s storm modeling tool, which analyzes variables including storm magnitude and track, wind speed, size of the wind field and ground saturation.
Historical data and company experience indicate complete power restoration from a storm of this magnitude could take several days – depending on the extent of damage, crews’ ability to access remote areas, and conditions such as flooding after the storm.
“We know this is an extremely difficult time, especially for many of our customers who have already endured the impacts of Hurricane Florence – a storm some would consider a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event,” said Howard Fowler, Duke Energy’s incident commander for the Carolinas.
“The remnants of Hurricane Michael will once again challenge the resolve of our communities, our customers and our employees – but working together, we’ll all get through this,” Fowler said.
Nearly 6,000 workers – including power line technicians, damage assessors and tree specialists – are ready to respond to the storm’s impact in the Carolinas.
Restoring power after a storm can be extremely challenging for repair crews, as travel and work conditions can be hampered by high winds and flooding.
Work cannot begin until the storm has passed and repair crews can safely access damaged areas. For worker safety, line technicians do not perform elevated work in bucket trucks when winds are higher than 35 miles per hour.
Before power can be restored, workers first must conduct a damage assessment – which can take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed before repairs can begin.
That assessment will determine where the company will deploy its workers, equipment and other resources to begin the complex job of power restoration once the storm passes.
Duke Energy first will restore power to critical infrastructure – such as emergency centers, fire stations, hospitals, water treatment plants and other public safety and health facilities.
At the same time, the company will repair major power transmission lines, damaged substations and other large-scale electrical equipment to restore electricity to the largest number of customers, as quickly as possible.
The following tips can help you and your family stay safe if the power goes out:
Click here for a video demonstration and to read more about safety around power lines.
For a "Hurricane Kit Checklist," and important safety information visit www.ready.gov. In addition, tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found at www.duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety. A checklist serves as a helpful guide, but it's critical before, during and after a storm to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency management officials in your area.
Before the storm hits, customers should note how to report power outages. Customers who experience an outage during the storm can report it by:
For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.
The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.
A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.
More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.