A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Duke Energy hopes to restore power for most customers by noon today but more storms forecast

Duke Energy anticipates to restore service to the majority of its customers impacted by Wednesday’s powerful storms by noon on Friday. In the hardest-hit areas around Goshen, where the National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado with estimated maximum wind gusts up to 130 mph along a 2.5 mile path, restoration is expected to continue into Sunday.

Crews, working day and night, have reduced outages from 104,000 at the height of the storm to 20,000 as of 5 p.m. Thursday. Extra crews from Duke Energy’s Indiana service territory and contractors from a neighboring utility have deployed to help speed up the assessment and restoration process.

Duke Energy will work as quickly as possible to safely restore power, in the Goshen area where downed infrastructure is consistent with tornado damage, crews will need to rebuild the electric system. The National Weather Service reported many mature trees were snapped or uprooted.

The storm also destroyed numerous electric transmission and distribution facilities, including substations, utility poles, power lines and other key system components – all of which will need to be replaced, repaired or rebuilt before power can be restored to individual homes and businesses.

Restoration in this hardest-hit area is projected to take several days, likely into Sunday evening. Many areas that need repair remain inaccessible to utility crews until roads reopen and trees, limbs and debris can be safely removed.

As crews work to restore power, there may be times workers temporarily deenergize power lines during the repair process in order to get all customers restored who areserved by the power equipment.

Damage assessment continues in the hardest-hit areas, and updated restoration times are posted when available on Duke Energy’s online outage map, which updates every 10 minutes. Damage assessment is an important part of the power restoration process as it helps determine where the company will deploy its workers, equipment and other resources.
Meter-box damage

Once power is restored, there may be damaged homes and businesses that cannot receive power.

Duke Energy installs and maintains the overhead service line and electric meter. Installation and maintenance of the underground service line, attachment hardware, weatherhead, riser and meter box are the customer’s responsibility. If the riser extends through the roof or eave, installation and maintenance are also the responsibility of the customer. These are typically installed and maintained by a licensed electrician.

Please be aware:

• Customers living in mobile homes are responsible for the service pole and for the service line that runs from the service pole attachment to the meter. Customers are also responsible for their meter box.

• If the meter box is pulled away from a customer’s house or mobile home service pole, and power is not being received, the homeowner is responsible for contacting an electrician to reattach the meter box and/or provide a permanent fix. In some instances, an electrical inspection may be required by the county before Duke Energy can reconnect service. An electrician can advise customers on next steps.

Power restoration process

Duke Energy focuses on restoring power in a sequence that enables power restoration to public health and safety facilities and to the greatest number of customers as safely and quickly as possible. Click here for information on how Duke Energy restores power.
Important safety tips

• Cooling centers are open in recreation centers in most Cincinnati-area locations.

• Please slow down or move over if you see Duke Energy crews or emergency management crews working along the side of the road. You can help make sure the folks working to restore power finish the job and get home to their families safely.

• Safety remains critically important during restoration efforts. Avoid downed power lines,
they should be considered energized and dangerous. Stay away from downed or sagging power lines, and do not touch anything that is on or near a power line (i.e., tree limbs, cars, or ladders). Downed lines should be reported to 800.543.5599.

• More tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found at duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety.

Generator safety

Always operate a generator in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator.

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, never use a generator indoors or in attached garages. Only operate the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area away from air intakes into the home.

Additional storm tips as well as current outage information is located on duke-energy.com/storm under the “Outage and Storm Information.”

Keeping customers informed

Duke Energy will provide estimated power restoration times for specific counties – once those estimates have been determined – at duke-energy.com/outages/current-outages.

Customers who are registered for Duke Energy text alerts will receive a text once an estimated restoration tim is established for their location. (Sign up to receive outage alerts.)

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