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Additional Crews Arriving in Ohio and Kentucky to Assist in Power Restoration Sept. 19, 2008

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CINCINNATI -

Duke Energy line crews continued efforts to essentially “rebuild” the electric distribution system in its Ohio and Kentucky service area. As of noon, approximately 126,672 customers remained without power.

“Power restoration is taking longer than expected due to the significant damage to our distribution system from fallen trees and downed lines,” said Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky President Sandra Meyer. “We will have 2,108 personnel in the field today as additional Carolina crews move into Ohio and Kentucky from Indiana, as well as crews arriving from neighboring utilities.”

As restoration efforts continue, crews are going neighborhood-to-neighborhood and house-to-house to repair broken poles and downed lines. So far, power has been restored to 573,328 customers.

“We continue to make good progress, but the outages we are dealing with now take more time to complete due to the extensive damage we are encountering,” Meyer said. “Our customers continue to show great patience and understanding of the situation as we drive towards restoring power to all customers by the end of the weekend.”

Outages peaked at 700,000 Sunday when damaging winds rolled through the greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. This was the largest outage in Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky’s history. 

Safety remains critically important during restoration efforts. Customers are encouraged to follow these guidelines:

  • Due to the significant tree damage from the high winds, care should be used when moving around or near debris. Downed power lines should be treated as energized lines and avoided.
  • Home meter boxes and weather heads, the point where the service line is attached to the house, should be checked for damage. If the meter box is damaged or the weather head has pulled away from the structure, a licensed electrician should be called to make repairs so that Duke Energy crews can provide service. For additional information: http://www.duke-energy.com/ohio/outages/meter-damage.asp
  • Portable electric generators should be used with caution and ventilated appropriately. Duke Energy recommends that appliances be plugged directly into the generator. A licensed electrician should be used if the customer is considering wiring the generator to their house.
  • Customers using generators are asked to watch for crews working in their neighborhood and to shut down their generators to prevent the backflow of electricity to power lines, which could seriously injure Duke Energy workers.
  • Customers without power are encouraged to turn off stoves, air conditioning units and other appliances in their home until their power is restored. This reduces potential safety concerns should power be restored to an unattended home.

Customers who have special medical needs or who have family members with special medical needs should make appropriate arrangements until their power is restored. Special needs customers can call the following numbers:

  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati at  2-1-1 for crisis and social services assistance
  • Cincinnati Area Senior Services at 513-721-4330
  • Council on Aging at 513-721-1025
  • Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross at 513-579-3000
  • The Hamilton County Hotline at 513-263-8200
  • Cincinnati-Hamilton Community Action Agency at 513-569-1840
  • Freestore Foodbank at 513-482-4500
  • People Working Together at 513-351-7921

On Friday, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky donated $50,000 to the Freestore Foodbank to support outreach programs that provide food and clothing. In addition, a total of $100,000 was awarded to Cincinnati-Hamilton Community Action Agency and People Working Cooperatively for electrical and home repairs for seniors and disabled lower-income homeowners.

Duke Energy, The Kroger Co. and the Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross are working to assist individuals and families. The Cincinnati Area Red Cross has set up shelters and water distribution centers. Information on what is available can be found at:  http://www.cincinnatiredcross.org

Duke Energy and the City of Cincinnati are also partnering to have ice distributed by the City of Cincinnati Fire Department. Ice distribution locations can be found at http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/mayor/downloads/mayor_pdf34323.pdf.

Duke Energy’s Ohio operations deliver safe, reliable and competitively priced electricity to approximately 687,000 electric customers and natural gas service to approximately 424,000 customers.

Duke Energy’s Kentucky operations provide approximately 1,100 megawatts of safe, reliable and competitively priced electricity to more than 134,000 electric customers. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 95,000 customers in Northern Kentucky.

Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 4 million U.S. customers in its regulated jurisdictions. The company has approximately 35,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy 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.


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