CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Heavy rains and gusty winds are expected to accompany Tropical Storm Nicole as it passes through the Carolinas on Friday, bringing the potential for high winds, flooding and widespread power outages. While this late season storm is expected to weaken some during its journey over land from Florida, Duke Energy urges customers to prepare for the possibility of outages along the path of the storm.
“Nicole is a large storm with very heavy rains and gusty winds, a combination that could potentially bring down trees and cause power outages in some areas,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s Carolinas storm director. “We have thousands of line and tree workers across the Carolinas ready to respond and have worked to strengthen the grid and add smart technologies that can help reduce the impacts of tropical storms on customers.”
Duke Energy serves more than 4 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company maintains a force of around 6,000 line and tree workers across both states that can be deployed locally or moved quickly, as needed, to support outage restoration in hard hit areas.
The safety of our customers and communities is important. Duke Energy encourages customers to have a plan in place to respond to an extended power outage after a hurricane or other severe weather. Below are some tips:
Before the storm
After the storm
For more tips on how to prepare for storm season, and how Duke Energy can help, please visit duke-energy.com/StormTips.
For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy). 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 contact us to make sure their contact information is up to date and their communication preferences are noted, so they receive proactive outreach on the status on a power outage they may experience.
Customers who experience an outage during a storm can report it the following ways:
There is also an interactive outage map where customers can find up-to-date information on power outages, including the total number of outages systemwide and estimated times of restoration.
Strengthening the grid to reduce storm impacts
Duke Energy has made significant improvements in recent years to strengthen the grid to make it more resistant to outages from severe weather. Improvements include pole and line upgrades, placing outage-prone lines underground, managing trees and vegetation near power lines, and the addition of smart, self-healing technology that can automatically detect power outages and quickly reroute power to restore service faster.
During Hurricane Ian in September, self-healing technology helped to automatically restore more than 100,000 customer outages in the Carolinas, saving around 850,000 hours of total outage time, and helping crews in the field restore power faster. Over the next few years, Duke Energy expects to install enough self-healing technology on its main power distribution lines to serve most customers.
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