AP News, T&D

Duke Energy restores power to thousands as Hurricane Dorian leaves Carolinas

Duke Energy has restored power to more than 100,000 of the nearly 209,000 customers impacted so far by Hurricane Dorian as the storm begins its slow exit from North Carolina.

The hardest-hit counties – all in eastern North Carolina – include Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow and Pamlico.

In addition to power line repairs already completed or underway, Duke Energy also is conducting damage assessment in many areas.

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The damage assessment process – which can take 24 hours or more – helps the company determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed in specific areas to expedite repairs.

Crews are restoring power, where possible, while simultaneously conducting damage assessment.

In advance of the storm, Duke Energy staged more than 9,000 repair workers.

“Even if you don’t see our trucks, we are working to restore power,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s incident commander for the Carolinas. “In the early going, many of the repairs that need to be made are located outside of residential neighborhoods as we work to restore substations, transmission lines and main distribution lines.”

Complete power restoration could take several days, depending on the extent of damage, crews’ ability to access remote areas, and post-storm conditions such as flooding.

Drivers urged to use caution near repair crews

North Carolina and South Carolina laws require drivers to slow down and move their vehicles over as far as safely possible when approaching and passing roadside utility crews making power line repairs.

The laws also apply when drivers approach and pass roadside ambulances and other roadside emergency responders. Violators could face fines.