Duke Energy prepares for possible winter weather

The Charlotte area is no stranger to power outages when storms hit, and Duke Energy says they’re monitoring weather conditions 24/7 to stay prepared. 

Duke Energy officials say they want to make sure they have the best plan in place for the potential winter weather coming this weekend. FOX 46 is told that so far, no additional crews have been brought in from out-of-state. 

Big restoration jobs get done first so, if a street small streets and backroads lose power, they may have to wait. 

"We're pretty far in advance of when this storm would hit at this point so we don't have any indication of how long customers would be without power if they do experience an outage. It's really going to depend on the storms impact,” said Duke Energy spokesperson Meghan Miles. 

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With snow and ice in this weekend’s forecast Duke says they are getting prepared. 

"We are reaching out to our contractors, making sure they are available, checking equipment and supplies and making sure that we have everything we need if outages do occur,” Miles told FOX 46. 

So far, Duke says they're planning to use crews based here in the Carolinas, but more could be called in from the Midwest and Florida depending on the storm’s impact. 

"Hurricane Florence was a very slow moving storm so we had a lot of time to prepare,” Miles said. 
“Hurricane Michael was really fast moving and it moved through the Carolinas in a very quick manner so we were prepared and we moved in additional crews to help us through the restoration process."

More than 1.1 million customers lost power during hurricane Michael. For some it took up to five days before power was restored. Right now, Duke does not have an estimate for how many customers could lose power but they're asking everyone to prepare.

"We want to make sure customers have their emergency kits ready, make sure they have non-perishable foods, water and anything they may need in case they do experience a power outage. They also should make sure that their cell phones are charged so if they do experience an outage they can report it to us,” said Miles.

Duke says Hurricane Florence repairs cost $540 million, and Hurricane Michael cost about $360 million between the Carolinas and Florida.

As for the upcoming storm, we're asked to remind customers to stay away from downed power lines and downed trees because they could be electrified.