RALEIGH: Power crews, hardware stores prepare for winter storm - WNCN: News, Weather

Power crews, hardware stores prepare for winter storm

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Generators are big sellers at Lowe's Home Improvement in North Raleigh. Generators are big sellers at Lowe's Home Improvement in North Raleigh.
Duke Energy says their crews are ready in case ice topples trees onto power lines. Duke Energy says their crews are ready in case ice topples trees onto power lines.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Possible ice in the forecast means a good chance for some power outages, so stores are stocking up on supplies and power crews are also getting ready.

"If we do see that ice mixture, or all ice, that's where we start to get concerned," Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said.

Brooks said crews actually trim tree branches year-round in preparation for storms like the one being forecasted. When it comes to restoring power, Brooks said they have a system in place to get the lights back on first at hospitals, fire departments and police stations.

Brooks said Duke Energy will then turn its focus to major corridors like Capital Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue.

"The major lines around boulevards that can restore the most customers at one time," Brooks said. "And then work our way gradually down into the neighborhoods and the small side streets."

Reporting outages

Duke Energy customers who experience an outage during the storm should call the 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
  • Duke Energy Florida: 1-800-228-8485
  • Duke Energy Indiana: 1-800-343-3525
  • Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky: 1-800-543-5599

Customers may also report an outage or view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/storms.

North Carolina electric cooperative members are asked to call their cooperative directly if they experience a disruption in power. For phone numbers to report outages and the counties served by each co-op, refer to www.ncelectriccooperatives.com/co-ops/coops.htm.

Stores stocking up

Meanwhile, home improvement stores like Lowe's in North Raleigh say they see an increase in customers when winter storms approach.  

"Yeah, we get slammed. We get busy," store manager Matt Mercer said.

Snow shovels and ice melt fly off the shelves. Mercer said generators are popular items as well, but they can be dangerous if not handled properly. Mercer said a gasoline-powered generator needs to be kept in a well-ventilated area, outside of the home or garage.

"You could actually die from some of the chemicals," Mercer said. "It would be just like if you turned your car on in your garage and it was just pumping the exhaust into the garage and you sat in there. You could definitely do a lot of damage."

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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