A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Duke Energy ready for first winter storm of 2018 — here are safety reminders, and how to report outages

With forecasts for possible heavy snow and freezing rain in the Midwest, Duke Energy is preparing to respond to possible power outages in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Heavy wet snow or freezing rain can cause outages due to the weight they create on tree limbs, which can break or sag onto power lines. Widespread outages usually do not occur until there is more than six inches of wet snow or a quarter-inch of ice accumulation. However, customers should be prepared anytime wintry weather is forecasted.

Duke Energy meteorologists continue to monitor weather conditions and the company will adjust its preparation plans accordingly. Weather can be unpredictable, so it is always good to be prepared for whatever conditions occur. Snow can cause hazardous driving conditions resulting in traffic accidents and downed power poles resulting in isolated outages.

Preparing for this.

The company is prepared to respond if severe weather situations occur. Line technicians, service crews and other personnel are available throughout Duke Energy’s Midwest service area, and are ready to respond anytime outages and emergencies occur.

Power outages expected

Based on the current forecast, widespread, multiple-day power outages are expected and customers should be prepared. In addition, weather and travel conditions may be hazardous and challenging, and could delay Duke Energy workers’ ability to fully assess storm damage and completely restore electric service.

With temperatures below freezing, customers should make alternate arrangements as needed – especially families who have special medical needs or elderly members. Everyone should be prepared and stay safe – and encourage other family members, friends and neighbors to do the same.

Safety reminders

Check your supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc. Also, ensure a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA radio is on hand.

Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy and your local police department.

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.

If you are driving and encounter emergency responders or other roadside work crews, remember to MOVE OVER. It’s the law in Ohio and Kentucky, and a good practice for all drivers.

Reporting outages

Customers who experience an outage during the storm have choices on how to report it:

Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
Call the automated outage-reporting system at 800.543.5599
Report an outage or view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/winterstorm

Duke Energy also will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur:

Duke Energy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DukeEnergy

Duke Energy on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DukeEnergy

Cold temperatures increasing demand

As temperatures are forecasted to dive well below freezing later this weekend and early next week, Duke Energy is prepared to meet its customers’ energy needs across Ohio and Kentucky.

System operators are closely monitoring the electric power and natural gas systems, and the company has an adequate supply of energy to meet demand.

The low temperatures will put higher stress on the equipment used to deliver electricity. Isolated equipment problems are possible, which could result in some scattered outages.

From Duke Energy

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