Duke Energy braces for winter storm in Carolinas; customers advised to prepare for possible extended power outages.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy is closely monitoring the winter storm forecasted to bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to North Carolina and South Carolina tonight and early tomorrow.

Line technicians, service crews and other personnel are available throughout the company’s service areas and are ready to respond.

Crews from Florida and other areas that are not expected to be affected by the storm will be arriving in the Carolinas this evening and tomorrow to assist with restoration.

Duke Energy urges customers

  • Do Not heat homes with a gas grill or bring a generator inside. Such equipment should be operated only outdoors, and only in well-ventilated areas. Manufacturer instructions should be followed.
  • Check on family members, friends and neighbors who have special medical needs or who are elderly.

Customers who experience an outage during the storm should call the automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:

Customers can also report an outage or view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/storms

Additionally, customers who report an outage can choose to receive updates via text messaging until their outage is restored.

Safety
Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all power lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with power lines.

Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy and your local police department.

If a power line falls across a car you’re 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 no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

Restoring power
Restoring power after an ice storm can be challenging, as travel conditions are poor.

Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine which crews, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs.

Because of this, customers may see damage assessors patrolling their neighborhoods before crews arrive to begin work.

Crews prioritize work to ensure the largest number of customers are restored as quickly as possible. Essential services, such as hospitals and emergency response facilities, are the first priority.

If you lose power, please turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This helps with restoration efforts because it reduces the immediate demand on power lines when power is restored.

Once your power is restored, please wait a few minutes before turning your equipment back on.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at:www.duke-energy.com.