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Duke Energy Florida urges customers to prepare for Tropical Storm Ian

DUK
  • Duke Energy meteorologists continue to monitor the storm
  • Company making preparations

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Florida is preparing for Tropical Storm Ian and is urging customers to prepare as well.

(PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

Company meteorologists are tracking the storm, which has the potential to strengthen and bring heavy rainfall, strong winds and localized flooding to portions of the company's service area.

In advance of the storm, Duke Energy places crews and resources near areas that will likely be affected by the system, allowing for the most rapid response after a storm passes through.

"Restoring power as safely and quickly as possible, while keeping our customers informed, remains our top priority," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "We want customers to know that our team is ready to respond to Ian or any other storm that could pose a threat to our electric system."

Line technicians and workers are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure adequate materials are available to make repairs and restore power outages.

After the storm passes, continued high winds, downed trees and flooding can impact work conditions, making repair work lengthy and more difficult.

As restoration begins, workers may not be visible in each impacted neighborhood, as the first priority is to repair large power lines and other infrastructure that will return power to the greatest number of customers as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible.

Strengthening the grid to reduce storm impacts

In addition to trimming trees and inspecting and replacing wires and wood poles, the company has invested in grid automation and smart technologies to reduce the duration and number of outages and restore service faster when outages occur.

Duke Energy's smart-thinking grid automatically detects outages and intelligently reroutes power to speed restoration or avoid outages altogether. In 2021, smart, self-healing technology helped to avoid nearly 250,000 extended outages in Florida, saving customers around 17 million minutes of service interruption, nearly double the hours saved in 2019. Over the next few years, Duke Energy expects to install enough self-healing technology to serve most customers.

After a storm, Duke Energy crews must physically inspect miles of power line to ensure everyone's power is restored, which can be time consuming. Now, Duke Energy crews can use a technology called Ping-it to remotely check that service has been restored following repairs. Ping-it sends a signal to each meter in a few seconds to confirm repairs were successful. In Florida, Duke Energy has installed nearly 2 million smart meters that enable this technology.

Safety information

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

  • 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, water, non-perishable foods and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm hits.
  • 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 storms 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 should arrange to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets; friends' or family members' homes; or pet-friendly hotels.

After the storm

  • 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.
  • If a power line falls across a car that you are 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.

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.

Outage reporting

While residents of coastal areas are most at risk of being affected by hurricanes, such storms also can bring damaging high winds and rain inland. 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:

  • Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
  • Use the Duke Energy mobile app – Download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play.
  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Call the automated outage-reporting system, at: 800.228.8485.
  • Customer service specialists will be available to manage customer calls should the need arise, with more than 1,500 additional corporate responders from across all Duke Energy jurisdictions available to assist as needed.

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.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,300 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2022 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' "America's Best Employers" list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Audrey Stasko
Cell: 315.877.3031
Media line: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_AudreyS

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/duke-energy-florida-urges-customers-to-prepare-for-tropical-storm-ian-301632639.html

SOURCE Duke Energy