Duke official: Power restoration after Florence ‘could take weeks’

by | September 12, 2018 2:00 pm

Last Updated: September 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm

One Duke Energy official has warned through email that power restoration in the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence’s impending impact “could take weeks, not hours or even days.”
Theo Lane said he was particularly concerned about “dramatic changes that happened (with the storm’s trajectory) overnight.”
“I fear that severe outages will now reach upstate South Carolina, and flooding, perhaps across the state, could delay expected power restoration efforts for weeks after this storm passes,” he s aid. “I cannot emphasize strongly enough how dangerous I perceive this storm to be, and how long I feel that recovery will be. In my 30 years, I fear this might be the worst storm I have ever worked. I hope I am wrong. It changed course dramatically last night, let’s hope it does again in the next 48 hours.
Lane said that Hurricane Florence is not a storm of inconvenience.
“It will be a potentially life-changing event for some of our customers,” he said. “Extensive damage paired with ongoing high-winds and flooding will forever change the lives of some customers.”
Customers should follow all warnings and guidance from local and state officials and prepare now, Lane encouraged.
The storm is expected to stall once it makes landfall in the Carolinas, and if does, restoration efforts cannot begin until it passes and in some cases until flood waters recede.
More than 6,500 Carolinas-based workers are being joined by 1,400 workers from Duke Energy Midwest and 1,000 from Duke Energy Florida to respond to this storm. And with 9,000 additional resources coming from other utilities to help, more than 20,000 people are in place to attack restoration as soon as it’s safe to do so.
“We will have enough crews in the Carolinas to restore power but restoration cannot begin until the storm has passed and our workers can safely access impacted communities.” Lane said. “Restoration efforts will be further delayed if the storm stalls, which could result in significant flooding limiting access to power equipment and additional structural damage.”

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