News Release
Dec. 12, 2002

DUKE POWER APPROACHES COMPLETION

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power nears the completion of outages that occurred during a storm of historic proportions for the Carolinas. Immediately following the storm on Dec. 5, more than 1.3 million customers lost electric service. As of this morning, service to 1,318,915 customers has been restored. 

 

A crew of more than 12,000 has worked over the past week to restore this critical service. In the restoration efforts, the Duke Power crews, contractors and out-of-state workers have strung enough cable to link the southeast from Charlotte to Orlando. As of midday Wednesday, more than 2.7 million feet of cable and wire have been strung; more than 5,500 batteries, 1,600 transformers and 35,500 insulators have been installed; more than 2,300 poles have been set.

 

“The materials our crews used to restore power and repair equipment are comparable to what comprises the entire electric system of some small utilities -- and it was achieved in a week,” said E.O. Ferrell, senior vice president of electric distribution for Duke Power.

 

Duke Power projects it will complete all ice storm-related outages by midnight Friday, Dec. 13 – a day earlier than originally anticipated.  The company anticipates some routine scattered outages, which occur on a daily basis due to factors such as traffic accidents or other causes.

 

There remain 49,400 Duke Power customers without power.

 

Outages in North Carolina include:

·         Charlotte, 14,300 outages

·         Burlington, 4,200 outages

·         Chapel Hill, 4,600 outages

·         Durham, 9,200 outages

·         Gastonia, 160 outages

·         Greensboro, 8,050 outages

·         High Point, 4,500 outages

·         Kannapolis, 550 outages

·         Salisbury, 3,500 outages

 In South Carolina, all storm-related outages were restored Wednesday.

 

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.

 

Last week’s storm was particularly damaging because there were still leaves on the trees, causing an additional accumulation of ice. Also, the ongoing drought weakened many trees.

 

Reminders:

·         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 PROVIDES UPDATES. THIS OPTION WILL ALSO ALLOW REPORTERS TO REACH A REPRESENTATIVE FOR AN 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
Email: n/a