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Restoration Process Understanding How We Respond to Outages

Severe weather can cause extensive damage and result in widespread power outages. Duke Energy’s restoration process focuses on a method that will return power to the greatest number of customers as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible. Emphasis is placed on vital public health and safety facilities such as hospitals, law enforcement, fire departments, water treatment facilities and pumping stations. Efforts to restore power to these facilities are clearly essential to protect the health and safety of the public.

Duke Energy prepares well in advance when severe weather threatens our area. Our meteorologists track the path of the storm to identify parts of our service area that may be affected. This allows Duke Energy to coordinate crews who can travel to other states as soon as possible to assist with restoration efforts. We also determine whether additional assistance is needed from contractors or from neighboring utility crews.

Safety First  
Safety of the public as well as those working on the lines is our top priority. The first step to accomplishing this goal is to locate downed power lines and make sure electricity is no longer flowing through the wires. You should always assume that downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Consider any object touching lines energized as well. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy or local emergency authorities.

Our typical restoration process follows this sequence:

1. Transmission lines supply electricity to large numbers of customers and to large geographic areas. These lines deliver electricity from the power plants to the substations.

2. Substation equipment adjusts the transmission line voltage to lower levels that are appropriate for our main distribution lines.  

3. Main distribution lines, also known as primary lines, deliver electricity to large subdivisions and commercial areas.

4. Local distribution lines, installed either overhead or underground, deliver electricity to smaller neighborhoods and businesses. These secondary lines are also known as “tap” lines.

5. Distribution transformers and service lines deliver electricity to your individual home or business either overhead or underground.

 If Your Neighbor's Power Is On But Not Yours
Sometimes, you may notice your neighbor's lights come back on while you are still without power. There may be several explanations -- not all circuits are restored at the same time, and different parts of your neighborhood may be served by different circuits. Another might be that a restored customer’s service comes directly from a primary line, which is restored first, while a customer without service may be served off a secondary line.

If your neighbors have power and you don’t, there may be a problem with your individual service line or your meter. Please call us at 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766) to report your outage. Our Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-866-4APAGON (1-866-427-2466) for outage reporting assistance. If you have access to the Internet, report your outage using our online report form.

In major storms, some of our customers are in areas that are temporarily inaccessible to our crews due to ice, fallen trees or where safety is an issue. Duke Energy, with the help of other services, works to clear these areas as quickly as possible so we can get to the damaged area to make repairs and restore power.

Until we complete damage assessment and other tasks, it's hard for us to tell you when your service will be restored. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work to restore your service as quickly and safely as possible.