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Duke Energy prepares for severe winter weather and urges customers to do the same

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-Mix of rain and high winds could cause power outages as below-freezing temperatures move into the region

Lineworkers, damage assessors and vegetation crews are ready to respond

Customers are encouraged to prepare in advance for extended outages and check on loved ones

Duke Energy is monitoring and preparing for a winter weather system that may cause power outages across the Carolinas this holiday weekend.

Duke Energy meteorologists are tracking a significant winter weather event expected to move through North and South Carolina on Friday morning, bringing wind gusts up to 55 mph and below-freezing temperatures. Conditions like these also bring a higher risk of widespread power outages across the region.

“While there is never a good time to be without power, we recognize that the possibility of outages over the holidays is particularly worrisome for the customers and communities we serve,” said Jason Hollifield, Carolinas Storm Director. “Our crews are prepared and will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power when outages occur.”

High winds and saturated ground may lead to downed trees, limbs and power lines. These winds can also impede Duke Energy workers’ ability to assess storm damage and restore power, and any outages that occur early Friday could linger into the evening as high wind gusts are forecast throughout the day.

Meeting customers’ needs

With extreme cold also comes higher demand for electricity to power homes and businesses. Our diverse energy mix in the Carolinas helps to insulate our customers from extreme weather.

Even as we transition to a cleaner energy future, we continue to rely on an “all-of-the-above” approach that includes nuclear, natural gas, coal and hydro generation to provide reliable energy that can be dispatched as needed, when customer demand for electricity is at its highest.

Safety information

Duke Energy encourages customers to have a plan in place to respond to an extended power outage after severe weather. Below are some tips:

Before the storm

  • Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines, water, nonperishable foods and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm hits.
  • Keep a portable radio or TV or a NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
  • Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of storms to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.
  • Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs, or evacuation is required.
  • Pet owners should arrange to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets; friends' or family members' homes; or pet-friendly hotels.

After the storm

  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines.
  • If a power line falls across a car that you are in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

Outage reporting 

After a storm hits, restoring power as safely and quickly as possible is our top priority, while keeping our customers informed. 

  • Customers who experience an outage during a storm can report it the following ways: 
  • Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device. 
  • Use the Duke Energy mobile app – Download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play. 
  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply). 
  • Call the automated outage-reporting system, at: 800.POWERON (800.769.3766). 
  • Visit our interactive outage map to find up-to-date information on power outages, including the total number of outages systemwide and estimated times of restoration. 

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