A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Duke Energy preparing for winter storm in the tri-state, urges customers to do the same

 Duke Energy is preparing for:
• A predicted mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and low temperatures could cause power outages in southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky,
• Having more than 500 line technicians and other power restoration workers ready to respond.
Like many Midwesterners, Duke Energy continues to monitor and prepare for a winter storm that has the potential to cause power outages across the company’s Ohio and Kentucky service regions.
See video of storm prep and winter storm power restoration efforts
“This storm will be different compared to the system that blanketed the Midwest with snow last weekend,” said Duke Energy Meteorologist Curt Grimoskas. “This one is distinctive because it has the potential to bring a combination of snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain, very gusty winds and cold temperatures.”
Snow on its own typically has little to no impact on the electric system. However, heavy wet snow accumulation, freezing rain and high winds can bring down trees, limbs and power lines. These types of winter storms can also create hazardous driving conditions, which could delay or impede Duke Energy workers’ abilities to assess storm damage and restore power.

Ahead of this weekend’s storm, Duke Energy line technicians and other workers continue to inspect equipment, check supplies and restock inventories to ensure adequate materials are available to make repairs and restore power outages. In addition, Duke Energy meteorologists are continually tracking the storm’s path and intensity and updating forecast models, which influence how the company mobilizes its workers and other resources.
Duke Energy has more than 500 line technicians, service crew workers and other storm personnel available across the company’s Ohio and Kentucky service regions to respond to power outages once conditions are safe. Depending on the impact of the storm, Duke Energy can bring in additional workers from its Southeast utilities and/or activate mutual aid agreements to enlist help from other utilities across the U.S. 
Bitter cold temperatures following the storm will make conditions even worse in the event of outages.
“We can’t stress enough the need for customers to be prepared for the storm and to be ready to move family members and neighbors – especially those who may be more vulnerable during a loss of power – to safe, alternative locations,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.

Safety reminders

Here are ways customers can be prepared and stay safe before, during and after a storm:
• Ensure an adequate supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc., as well as the availability of a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or weather radio.
• 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 or local emergency services.

• 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.
• If you use a generator due to a power outage, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper operation. Operate your generator outside; never operate it inside a building or garage.
• Don’t use grills or other outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking, as these devices may omit carbon monoxide.

Reporting outages

Customers who experience outages during the storm have multiple ways to report them:
• 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 by visiting duke-energy.com/outages.
Duke Energy will also provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur:
• Duke Energy on Twitter: twitter.com/DukeEnergy
• Duke Energy on Facebook: facebook.com/DukeEnergy
Duke Energy natural gas customers in Ohio and Kentucky can always call 800.634.4300 to report natural gas outages or other issues. Any customer who suspects a gas leak should always evacuate the area before calling.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says rains and snow is forecast for Saturday. It will be snow after 8 p.m. with a low of 14 and north winds of 15 to 18 mph. Two to 4 inches of snow is possible. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with wind chills as low as zero.

From the National Weather Service

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