SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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Duke Energy urges customers to prepare for multi-day outages; more than 4,300 line and tree personnel to help restore power

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As of 11:30 a.m., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) reported about 270,000 outages the day after a historic winter storm hit the Carolinas. The company is urging customers to be prepared for multi-day outages that could extend to Tuesday and Wednesday in some areas.

New Duke Energy logo.

"This storm has caused extensive damage, and we appreciate our customers' continued patience," said Jeff Corbett, senior vice president of Duke Energy's Carolinas Delivery Operations. "Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to get the lights on for customers and will not stop until the last customer is restored. Improved weather conditions today will help."

More than 4,300 line and tree personnel are responding to hard-hit areas including Alamance, Davidson, Forsythe, Guilford, Orange, Randolph and Rowan counties. Crews are clearing trees, replacing poles, restringing power lines and replacing transformers and other equipment.

Estimated times of restoration by county
The estimated times of restoration indicate when the majority of outages in specific locations are expected to be restored. Many customers will have service sooner than the estimated times. Individual cases could have scattered outages beyond these times.

Alamance – Wednesday, 11 p.m.

Anson – Sunday, 4 p.m.

Cabarrus – Sunday, 4 p.m.

Caswell – Wednesday, 11 p.m.

Chatham – Tuesday, 11 p.m.

Davidson – Wednesday, 11 p.m.

Davie – Tuesday, 11 p.m.

Durham – Sunday, noon

Forsyth – Tuesday, 11 p.m.

Granville – Sunday, noon

Guilford – Wednesday, 11 p.m.

Iredell – Saturday, 11 p.m.

Mecklenburg – Saturday, 11 p.m.

Montgomery – Saturday, 11 p.m.

Orange – Sunday, 11 p.m.

Randolph – Wednesday, 11 p.m.

Rowan – Sunday, 4 p.m.

Stanly – Sunday, 4 p.m.

Wilkes – Sunday, 11 p.m.

Customers who experience an outage should call Duke Energy's automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:

  • Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
  • Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356
  • Spanish-speaking customers can call: 1-866-4APAGON

For the most up-to-date information, Duke Energy offers a map online at www.duke-energy.com/storm that includes the number of outages across the state, estimated times of restoration and crew status, if available.

Updates are also provided on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DukeEnergyStorm and www.facebook.com/DukeEnergyStorm.

Safety
Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging or buried under debris due to storm damage. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. 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.

Families who have special medical needs or elderly members should continue to closely monitor individual situations and make plans for potential alternate arrangements if an extended outage is expected.

Restoring power
Before power can be restored, crews first assess damage and determine what 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 is restored as quickly as possible. Essential services such as hospitals and emergency responders have priority.

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

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

For a graphical explanation of power restoration, go to: http://www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/How-Duke-Energy-Restores-Power.pdf.

Meter-box damage
If a customer's meter box is pulled away from the house and they are without power, the homeowner is responsible for contacting an electrician for a permanent fix. In some instances, an electrical inspection may be required before the company can reconnect service.

If the meter box is pulled away from the house and you have power, customers should call an electrician to re-attach the meter box.

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

24-hour media line: 800.559.3853

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130322/CL81938LOGO

SOURCE Duke Energy

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