Utility companies prepare for winter weather - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Utility companies prepare for winter weather

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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

Utility companies statewide are standing-by in case of severe weather.

North Carolina Electric Cooperatives

North Carolina's electric cooperatives are on standby and ready to restore power as quickly as possible if outages should occur as a result of the predicted winter storm.         

"The state's 26 electric cooperatives are carefully monitoring this winter weather system and are prepared for possible power outages in the 93 counties served by the cooperatives," said Jane Pritchard, director of corporate communications for the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives. 

Because North Carolina's electric cooperatives are located in the communities they serve, restoration crews are always on-site and can begin work immediately.

Electric cooperative members are asked to call their cooperative directly if they experience a disruption in power. For a complete list of phone numbers to report outages and a list of counties served by each co-op, refer to www.ncelectriccooperatives.com.

North Carolina's electric cooperatives provide energy to 2.5 million people.

BLUE RIDGE ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATION

Employees of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation are also watching the storm.

Employees are monitoring severe winter weather predicted to bring snow and high winds to the cooperative's service in the mountains and foothills of northwest North Carolina.

The fastest, most efficient way to report an outage is by calling the cooperative's PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383.

Blue Ridge Electric offers the following safety and preparation tips to help members stay comfortable and safe if outages should occur.

Have the following supplies on hand, preferably in a central location that each member of the household can locate quickly if needed:

  • Flashlights and fresh batteries
  • Matches with firewood and kindling or
  • A grill with extra propane charcoal and lighter fluid
  • Radio with fresh batteries to listen to weather and news reports
  • Extra blankets, sleeping bags, quilts
  • Oil lamps and extra oil
  • Wind-up or battery operated clock
  • Non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • Paper plates and plastic utensils
  • Bottled water or gallon jugs filled with water for drinking and cooking
  • Formula and extra diapers for babies
  • Thermos for keeping drinks and baby formula warm
  • Emergency numbers such as Blue Ridge Electric's PowerLine, local emergency management, police and hospital contacts.

Additionally, if you require a regular medication, be sure to keep extra supplies on hand. If you or a family member requires oxygen, it's a good idea to have a back-up power source and a personal emergency plan that includes family, friends or local emergency management sources to assist you if needed. 

As a safety reminder, Blue Ridge Electric reminds the public that downed power lines can still be energized and therefore dangerous or even deadly! Stay far away from downed power lines--no one except a trained line technician should ever handle a downed power line. If you see a downed line, please report the location immediately to Blue Ridge Electric by calling any local district office or 1-800-451-5474.

For checking outage status, Blue Ridge Electric provides an online outage map on their website at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com. The cooperative also provides information during widespread outages its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc and Twitter page at www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.  

Blue Ridge Electric serves some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties.

DUKE ENERGY

Duke Energy is preparing for a winter storm expected to bring accumulations of snow and ice to portions of the Carolinas.

Crews in western and central North Carolina and South Carolina are preparing vehicles and materials to respond to outages that may occur as a result of the storm. Additional resources from within the Duke Energy system are also available to assist local crews as needed.

Forecasts will continue to evolve as the storm system approaches. Duke Energy is preparing for accumulations of 4-12 inches in higher elevations, with other areas seeing smaller accumulations.

If the power goes out
The fastest way to report an outage is to call our automated outage-reporting system:

Duke Energy Carolinas customers: 800.769.3766 (800.POWERON)

Progress Energy Carolinas customers: 800.419.6356

During and immediately following larger storms, restoration times may be difficult to predict.

Duke Energy encourages customers in affected areas to be prepared if an outage occurs. Customers with special needs who experience an outage should be prepared to seek alternate shelter until service is restored. Icy roadways also make restoration more difficult.

Safety
Duke Energy advises customers to take the following precautions:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Keep children and pets away as well. Always assume downed lines are energized. Call the outage reporting line immediately if you see a downed line.
  • Do not stand under ice-laden limbs or power lines. Be on the lookout for falling ice.
  • Never use a generator indoors. Always follow manufacturer instructions.
  • Charge mobile phones in advance of the storm.
  • Keep at least one battery-powered flashlight where it can be located easily in the dark. Listen for storm information on a battery-powered radio. Keep an extra supply of fresh batteries.
  • Make sure you are adequately stocked with canned goods and bottled water.
  • Make sure any indoor heaters, such as wood stoves or kerosene heaters, have adequate ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, make sure the flue of your fireplace is working properly. Never use outdoor grills in the house.
  • Make sure you have adequate fuel on hand for supplementary heating sources, such as a fireplace, wood-burning stove or kerosene heater.

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