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Duke Energy urges Florida customers to prepare for Hurricane Dorian

2019-08-29 15:31 ET - News Release

- Power outages likely along projected path

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Aug. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As forecasts increasingly predict Hurricane Dorian will impact Florida, Duke Energy is preparing for the storm and urges customers to do the same.

Hurricane Dorian is forecast to be a Category 4 at landfall with strong winds, heavy rainfall and flooding in portions of Duke Energy's Florida service area. 

The company expects damage to its infrastructure that may result in extended power outages.

The storm continues to strengthen as it moves closer to Florida. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in advance of the hurricane.

"Hurricane Dorian is intensifying and poses a significant threat to east central Florida," said Duke Energy Florida storm director Jason Cutliffe. "We join state officials in asking everyone to take this storm seriously and prepare now. We also ask our customers for their patience. With a Category 4 hurricane, power may take several days to restore."

Duke Energy has a detailed storm response plan in place.

In advance of the hurricane, Duke Energy will move repair crews and resources so they are staged and ready to help restore power as soon as it is safe to do so.

In addition, line technicians and workers are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure adequate materials are available to make repairs and restore power.

Restoring power after a storm can be extremely challenging for utility repair crews, as travel and work conditions can be impacted by high winds and widespread flooding – making repair work lengthy and difficult.

As part of power restoration, crews first must assess the extent of damage – which can take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies will be needed before repairs can begin.

Important reminders

The following tips can help you and your family stay safe if the power goes out:

  • 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.

  • 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 and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes.

  • Maintain a supply of water and nonperishable food.

  • 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 the storm 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 can make arrangements to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets, friends' or family members' homes, or pet-friendly hotels. Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in your emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container).

  • Report all power line hazards using the following phone number: 800.228.8485.

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

Customers should stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.

For a hurricane kit checklist and important safety information, visit www.ready.gov. In addition, tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found at duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety. 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.

Click here for a video demonstration and to read more about safety around power lines.

Outage reporting

Before the storm hits, customers should note how to report power outages. Customers who experience an outage during the storm can report it by:

  • Visiting duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device

  • Texting OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)

  • Calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800.228.8485

  • Using the Duke Energy mobile app – Download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play

For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).

High-water safety reminders

  • People who live along lakes and rivers, and in other low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding, should pay close attention to local emergency management officials, the National Weather Service and media for changing weather conditions and rising lake and river levels.

  • High-water conditions can create navigational hazards, and the public should use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes or rivers.

  • Members of the public that have electrical service to facilities (piers, outside lighting on seawalls, etc.) on or near the water should have this service de-energized to avoid injuries and equipment damage.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2019 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.    

Contact: Ana Gibbs
Office: 813.928.7263 | 24-Hour: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_AnaGibbs

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