High Water and Dam Safety

Duke Energy works closely with local, county and state emergency management officials during high water and flooding conditions to provide information to help ensure they can make appropriate public action decisions. If you have questions about what actions you should take during such events, please review the information below, contact your local county emergency management office and visit ready.gov.

Emergency sirens

2019 Siren test dates: January 9, April 10, July 10, October 9.

Duke Energy is proud to be part of the community, and we are committed to being a safe and reliable neighbor. Because of the close proximity of some residents living immediately downstream of the Bridgewater, Rhodhiss, Mountain Island, Wylie, 99 Islands, Nantahala, Queens Creek, Bryson, Wolf Creek, Tanasee Creek and Walters dams, warning sirens have been installed to provide initial notification for evacuation. These sirens are used to notify residents of potential emergencies, including dam failures.

As part of our safety culture, Duke Energy conducts periodic maintenance siren tests to ensure the sirens work properly. Residents living around those areas are notified of siren test dates. Siren tests will sound for three minutes. During this time, no public action is necessary.
In an actual emergency, sirens would sound continuously. Area residents are advised to relocate immediately to higher ground and tune to local news media for further instructions from local emergency management agencies.

Be alert

People who live along lakes, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone areas should pay close attention to local media for changing weather conditions and rising lake and river levels.

  • Know your area's flood risk. During rains that have lasted for several hours or even several days, be attentive to the chance of flooding.
  • Listen to local radio or television stations for possible flooding information, as well as NOAA weather radio for watch and warning bulletins.
  • For the latest, most up-to-date lake information, visit the lake levels page or call Duke Energy’s Lake Information Line at 800.829.5253.

Flooding safety

At Duke Energy, safety is our first priority throughout every storm. According to the American Red Cross, electrocutions are the second-leading cause of death during and after floods. Below are some electrical safety guidelines to help protect you and your family when coping with flooding.

Before the flood

  • Learn about your community's emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes and locations of emergency shelters. Visit www.ready.gov for more information.
  • Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the flood strikes.
  • Turn off electrical power if there is standing water, fallen power lines or before you evacuate.
  • Turn off gas and water supplies.

Flooding guidelines

  • Turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box if rising water threatens your home or if you evacuate your home.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. DO NOT drive over or stand near downed power lines. Electric current passes easily through water.
  • Never replace a fuse or touch a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet or damp surface.
  • Do not try to drive through flooded areas; most flood-related deaths occur in automobiles.
  • If your home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make necessary repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

Safety around hydro stations and dams

Dams and spillways can be beautiful to look at, but the water immediately above (upstream) and immediately beneath (downstream) them is treacherous. Duke Energy reminds the public to observe these safety rules. They could save your life.

  • Watch for rising water levels.
  • Know where high ground is and move there quickly if you see or hear rapidly rising water.
  • Heed warning signs posted near threatening areas, and avoid boating and swimming in these areas.
  • Be especially cautious at night, the time of day most difficult to recognize the dangers.
  • Look for unusual swirling currents that can pull boats and people toward the dam and under the water.
  • Watch for strong currents, wear life jackets and stay alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Stay alert for partially submerged objects. High water can sweep heavy debris into the lakes.

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