News Release
Dec. 11, 2002

DUKE POWER PROJECTS EARLIER COMPLETION DATE FOR STORM RESTORATION EFFORTS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power projects it will complete all ice storm-related outages by midnight Friday, Dec. 13 – a day earlier than originally anticipated. To date, the company has restored service to 1,291,000 customers whose service was interrupted by last week’s ice storm.

 

“While the majority of customers’ service has been restored, we know that for those still without lights, their patience is wearing thin,” said E.O. Ferrell, senior vice president of electric distribution for Duke Power. “Please bear with us as we work hard to bring the last customers back on. Your patience is appreciated by our crews in the field, as well as the many others involved in the restoration effort.”

 

Earlier in the restoration effort, Duke Power crews were able to bring large blocks of customers back on as major circuits were repaired. With that work completed in most areas, restoration efforts have transitioned to restoring power to individual homes. As a result, progress in reducing the number of outages will be slower.

 

“Our team of 12,000 Duke Power crews, contractors and out-of-state workers remain as dedicated as ever,” Ferrell said. “As we clear outages in one area of our service territory, we are reassigning crews to other problem areas to restore electricity as quickly as possible,” Ferrell said.

 

The company anticipates some scattered outages, which occur on a daily basis due to factors such as traffic accidents or other causes.

 

There remains 82,800 Duke Power customers without power. Most are in Charlotte, where 24,600 customers are awaiting restoration.

 

Outages in other North Carolina areas include:

·         Burlington, 5,700 outages

·         Chapel Hill, 8,100 outages

·         Durham, 20,000 outages

·         Gastonia, 650 outages

·         Greensboro, 10,300 outages

·         High Point, 7,600 outages

·         Kannapolis, 600 outages

·         Salisbury, 4,460 outages

 

In South Carolina, all storm-related outages have been restored.

 

The more than 1.3 million outages from the Dec. 5 ice storm are almost twice the number of outages from previous benchmarks: The ice storm of February 1996 affected 660,000 customers, and just under 700,000 customers were out of service during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. In the 1996 ice storm, it took 10 days to restore the 660,000 customers who lost power. In this ice storm, Duke Power crews matched that restoration number in only three days.

 

Reminders:

·         Outage numbers will fluctuate as crews test lines or disconnect power so additional customers can be restored.

·         Customers are cautioned to make sure their meter box has not been damaged. If the meter box is damaged or pulled away from the building, customers need to contact a licensed electrician for repairs and their local county inspection office for an inspection.

·         If your power remains off when a neighbor’s power is back on, the company advises you to call 1-800-POWERON (1/800-769-3766).

·         The line offers options for Spanish speaking customers. (Si su casa sigue sin servicio eléctrico y sus vecinos ya tienen electricidad, favor de llamar al teléfono de Duke Power, 1-800-POWERON (1-800-943-6914). Nuestras operadoras pueden atenderle en español.)

 

REPORTERS CAN CALL OUR MEDIA OUTAGE LINE AT 704/382-8333 OPTION 1 FOR UPDATES. THIS OPTION WILL ALSO ALLOW REPORTERS TO REACH A REPRESENTATIVE FOR INTERVIEW.

 

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Power operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 19,300 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: www.dukepower.com.

 

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

 

Contact: Media Relations Joint Information Center
Phone: 704-382-8333
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
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