Duke officials urge customers to prepare for Hurricane Florence
by Robert Joseph Baker | September 10, 2018 8:44 pm
Last Updated: September 10, 2018 at 8:45 pm
CHARLOTTE – As forecasts increasingly predict that Hurricane Florence is expected to significantly impact North and South Carolina, Duke Energy officials are preparing for the storm and urge customers to do the same.
Company weather forecasters expect widespread damage and power outages as Hurricane Florence is set to be a large and extremely dangerous storm system, packing fierce winds and torrential rainfall.
Historical data and company experience indicate that total power restoration from a storm of this magnitude could take multiple days to several weeks – depending on the extent of damage and post-storm conditions, such as ongoing high winds and severe flooding, after the storm passes though the region.
“Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen and poses a significant threat to the Carolinas, possibly surpassing the damage seen from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 because of the potential for inland hurricane-force winds and a substantial amount of rainfall,” said Duke Energy senior meteorologist Max Thompson. “All Duke Energy customers in the Carolinas could see impacts from this storm and should make plans now to prepare their homes and families. We join state officials in asking everyone to take this storm seriously. We also ask our customers for their patience ahead of what will be a lengthy period of power restoration and recovery from this major storm.”
Both North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster have declared states of emergency in advance of the hurricane.
Duke Energy has a detailed storm response plan in place, Thompson noted.
“In advance of the hurricane, Duke Energy is moving power restoration crews from its Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Florida utilities so that they are staged in the Carolinas and ready to help the company’s Carolinas-based crews restore power as soon as it is safe to do so,” he said in a release from the company. “In addition, line technicians and workers are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure adequate materials are available to make repairs and restore power outages.”
The company is also working with the Southeastern Electric Exchange to secure additional crews from other energy companies to assist.
“Restoring power after a massive storm can be extremely challenging for utility repair crews, as travel and work conditions can be impacted by high winds and widespread flooding – making repair work lengthy and difficult,” said spokesman Theo Lane. “Before power can be restored, crews first must assess the extent of damage – which can take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies will be needed before repairs can begin.”