Economy

More than 1K Duke Energy workers en route to Florida

More than 1K Duke Energy workers en route to Florida”

Duke Energy is gearing up to handle any damage Hurricane Irma brings this weekend in Florida and the Carolinas. Though much can change, the National Hurricane Center on Thursday predicted Irma's center passing to the west of the Charlotte metro area early Tuesday, when it would be a weaker tropical storm.

Duke can also lean on other utilities to provide crews, if it needs outside assistance in Irma's aftermath, Pettit said.

"We've obviously been monitoring the storm since its inception", company spokesman Ryan Mosier said.

In the case the Queen City goes dark, Duke Energy is ready to give the green light for restoration crews to respond in full force. "We are making a plan and making sure we have proper inventory and personnel ready to go".

"We will continue to further refine our preparations as the track gets more and more clear", Pettit said. "We are in this together". The last major hurricane to hit Charlotte was Hugo in 1989. "If you must get out of the auto due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the vehicle and land on both feet", Duke Energy corporate communications representative Dave Scanzoni said. He said Duke is expecting Irma to have "a significant impact" in the Carolinas, though he declined to speculate how that might translate into outages. "Previous year with Hurricane Matthew, we had a lot of people impacted- and we essentially had them all restored in less than a week".

"We will be putting out advisories via social media and public service announcements and in any avenue we can to get to the people in town", he said.

Duke Energy says planning is key.

"Mother Nature is in charge here", said Pettit. "So there's no way we can prevent all customers from having outages- so if you have an outage- be patient, call it in and realize we will get there as soon as we can".

"Everything that you really want-you want some things that you can survive for a couple of days to the power comes back on", mentioned Dominion Energy Network Specialist Lineman, Keith Wilson.

Outages can be reported to 1-800-POWER-ON or you can text "OUT" to 57801.



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