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Duke Energy crews to begin power restoration, damage assessment as Ian exits Florida

DUK
  • Power outages currently more than 680,000; more than 185,000 customers restored in early stages
  • 10,000 workers focused on Duke Energy Florida restoration
  • Restoration could take longer for hardest-hit areas

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ian continues to move through Florida, cutting power to more than 680,000 Duke Energy Florida customers so far, with more power outages likely to occur later today as the storm exits the state.

(PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

As of 1:45 p.m. today, more than 185,000 customers in Florida have been restored.

Duke Energy Florida serves 1.9 million customers in the state. Outages are spread throughout Duke Energy's territory.

"Heavy rain and strong winds have resulted in widespread outages in several areas in our service territory, with some customers still being hit hard," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "We are surveying damaged areas now and power restoration for our Florida customers is underway. We want customers to know we are committed to working as quickly and safely as possible to get the lights back on. We thank all our customers for their patience."

Duke Energy will provide initial estimated power restoration times for impacted customers in the following areas where the storm cleared first:

  • For Pasco and Pinellas counties, estimated restoration times will be provided later today, Sept. 29, on or before 8 p.m.
  • For all other counties impacted by the storm, with the exception of the hardest-hit counties, the estimated restoration times will be provided tomorrow, Sept. 30, by 10 a.m.
  • For the hardest-hit areas, in terms of power outages, such as Highlands, Polk and Volusia counties, the estimated restoration times will be provided tomorrow, Sept. 30, no later than 6 p.m.

Strong winds and heavy rainfall continue to impede the company's ability to restore power, complete damage assessment and provide estimated times of restoration in some areas.

Estimated times of restoration will indicate when we expect to have the majority of customers restored in that community – for customers that can receive power.

If your home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

Nearly 10,000 resources in Florida

In advance of the storm, Duke Energy strategically staged more than 10,000 workers – power line technicians, damage assessors and vegetation workers – across Florida.

These crews are responding where conditions allow. In many places, crews must wait for the storm to pass before starting restoration. Even then, lingering rains and wind will leave behind significant water and fallen tree damage.

Before power can be restored, crews first must assess the extent of damage – which can sometimes take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed to expedite repairs.

Crews will restore power, where possible, while completing damage assessment.

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 quickly and safely as possible. Click here for information on how Duke Energy restores power.

Keeping customers informed

Customers who experience a power outage 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.

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.

The company also will provide regular updates to customers and communities through emails, text messages, outbound phone calls, social media and its website, which includes power outage maps.

Safety recommendations
  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs, fences or anything in contact with lines.
  • If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST exit 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.
  • A generator can be very useful during a power outage, but remember to always follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure safe and proper operation.
  • Please watch for utility crews and turn the generator off when crews are in your area. The electrical load on the power lines can be hazardous for crews making repairs.
  • Operate your generator outside. Never operate it inside a building or garage.
  • If rising water threatens your home – or if you evacuate your home – turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
  • Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over – and don't stand near – downed power lines.
  • Downed lines will be hard to see in the rain and can potentially be hidden in standing water. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.

For more tips during and after the storm, visit duke-energy.com/StormTips.

For company updates, visit duke-energy.com/updates.

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-crews-to-begin-power-restoration-damage-assessment-as-ian-exits-florida-301637182.html

SOURCE Duke Energy