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Why does my power go out in seemingly every storm? Why can’t this be prevented?

Ken Little

Trees are the number one cause of outages, especially during storms, Duke Energy spokeswoman Meredith Archie said.

“When an object, such as a tree limb, comes in contact with a power line, circuit breakers or other protective equipment shut off the flow of power. Customers connected to that circuit will be without power until crews can remove the object and reset the equipment. Other common weather-related causes of outages include wind, lightning, ice, rain and flooding,” Archie said.

She said that damage to electrical equipment “is not always obvious or immediately visible.”

Before repairs can be made, Duke Energy crews must inspect the lines and equipment to find the specific problem. The line crews must ensure the area is safe before restoration can begin, Archie said.

“Also, equipment on our system – just like any machine – can fail due to age, damage, weather-related incidents or due to stress from extremely low or high temperatures. Our crews always work as quickly and safely as possible to restore service to our customers,” she said.

Archie said that Duke Energy has invested more than $2.7 billion in the Carolinas to harden and upgrade its power delivery system since the 2004.

“There are simple things Duke Energy does all the time to improve reliability and mitigate outages, like trimming trees and inspecting or replacing wood poles. Additionally, the company has invested in grid automation and smart grid technologies, which improve service reliability and reduces the length and number of outages year-round,” Archie said.

User-contributed question by:
John F. McEntee Sr.

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