Duke Energy: Hundreds of workers prepared to respond to Zeta outages

Crews working to restore power after Zeta

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the Gulf Coast bares the brunt of yet another big storm, the Carolinas are getting ready for a taste of wet weather.

Hurricane Zeta is forecasted to bring heavy wind and rain to portions of North Carolina and South Carolina Thursday.

Paige Layne, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, said the power company is anticipating outages in portions of upstate South Carolina and much of North Carolina. She said fallen trees are the number one cause of outages in the Carolinas and that will be a concern Thursday.

“We’ve had a lot of rain this season and so the ground is completely saturated so on top of additional rain and then we’re expecting gusts of 15 miles per hour or greater. That could easily take down a tree,” said Layne.

She said Duke Energy has 2,600 workers prepared to respond to the storm Thursday, and 300 additional workers from the Midwest and Florida prepared to mobilize. This year, many of the lineworkers have been busy responding to large storms along the Gulf Coast.

“This will be I think their fifth storm response since August so I’m pretty sure they’re probably a little tired, a little weary but they’re ready, they’re prepared. This is what they do. This is when they’re at their best,” said the Duke Energy representative.

Layne urged customers to be prepared for outages during the storm.

“Have some supplies that would last you a couple days. Make sure you’ve got your cellphone charged, your laptop’s charged. If you have a battery-operated radio, that would be great to have to get information,” said Layne.

She also warned residents not to touch downed lines. She said any fallen line should be treated as if it’s an energized power line. All downed lines should be reported to Duke Energy.

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