Power crews are on standby across the Carolinas as the winter storm dumps several inches of snow on the region.
Employees of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation are prepared to respond and are on high alert for a major snowstorm predicted for the cooperative's service area, according to the Corporation.
No outages are occurring as of 1 p.m. Wednesday but cooperative officials advise members that the worst conditions will likely be Wednesday evening through Thursday morning. Members are advised to be prepared and keep the PowerLine outage reporting number handy: 1-800-448-2383.
Ten inches or more of snow is predicted. A heavy, wet snow--especially if icy precipitation is mixed in--could lead to outages.
Generally, temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer will produce a heavier, wetter snow that could cling to tree limbs and fall into power lines or cause problems by weighing down power lines.
Blue Ridge Electric features an online Storm Room complete with an online outage map, preparedness and safety tips, videos, and other resources at BlueRidgeEMC.com.
As a safety precaution, Blue Ridge Electric reminds the public that downed power lines can still be energized and therefore dangerous or even deadly!
Stay far away from downed power lines--no one except a trained line technician should ever handle a downed power line.
If you see a downed line, please report the location immediately to Blue Ridge Electric by calling any local district office or 1-800-451-5474.
Duke Energy has about 3,400 restoration personnel in place, according to a news release from the company.
The crews include about 500 from the company's Midwest and Florida operations.
They will bolster the company's regular complement of line technicians, service crews and other personnel.
The company has the ability to move crews from both Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress, which serve a wide geographic area in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Duke Energy urges customers to be prepared:
-- Check your supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc.
-- Ensure a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA weather radio is on hand.
-- Do not attempt to heat your home with a gas grill or by bringing a generator inside. Only operate such equipment outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Follow manufacturer instructions.
-- Check on family members, friends and neighbors who have special medical needs or who are elderly to ensure they have necessary emergency supplies. Encourage them to determine now what action they would take in the event of an extended power outage.
Customers who experience an outage should call Duke Energy's automated outage-reporting systems for their respective utility:
-- Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
-- Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356
Customers may also report an outage or view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/storms
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