(Satellite photo courtesy of NOAA)
Duke Energy said Friday afternoon that it had restored power to nearly half of the 209,000 customers impacted so far by Hurricane Dorian.
The storm was running northward parallel to the Atlantic coast and making a slow exit from Duke’s home state of North Carolina. The utility had staged more than 9,000 repair workers in advance of the hurricane and had reconnected some 100,000 customers as of Friday.
Dorian has not made a direct hit on the mainland, but it has spawned tornadoes and heavy rains. The hardest-hit counties – all in eastern North Carolina – include Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow and Pamlico.
“Even if you don’t see our trucks, we are working to restore power,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s incident commander for the Carolinas. “In the early going, many of the repairs that need to be made are located outside of residential neighborhoods as we work to restore substations, transmission lines and main distribution lines.”
Complete power restoration could take several days, depending on the extent of damage, crews’ ability to access remote areas, and post-storm conditions such as flooding.
In addition to power line repairs already completed or underway, Duke Energy also is conducting damage assessment in many areas.
The damage assessment process – which can take 24 hours or more – helps the company determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed in specific areas to expedite repairs.