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Duke Energy is preparing for winter weather. It advises customers do the same

Duke Energy lineman in an elevated basket working on electrical lines in front of a blue sky with high clouds.
Courtesy of Duke Energy

Duke Energy is preparing for a major winter storm that's moving across the country. Spokeswoman Sally Thelen says for our area, the main issue won't be snow, but wind and cold. She says with the threat of winds bringing down tree limbs and power lines, Duke is looking at staffing ahead of the holiday weekend.

"Certainly the timing of this storm isn't ideal, but our goal is always to keep people's power on."

Thelen says now is a good time for people to prepare for the worst. That includes making sure devices are charged and having a plan for what to do if your home loses power, including knowing where you can go if it looks like it's going to stay off for a while.

"When we're not in significantly deep cold weather, we typically might be able to reroute customers on different circuits," she says. "But given the weather that is expected, from a temperature standpoint, it's not going to be as readily available for us to do that, because certainly a lot of people are going to be running heat and what not."

Thelen says if you have a generator, check it out ahead of time. "Don't put too many devices that would utilizing it,' she says. "We want to make sure nobody tries to use a generator indoors or in an attached garage."

She says if you do have a generator wired directly into the house, make sure it has a transfer switch connected by a licensed electrician. “If they have outages on their street and they are operating a generator, kind of going out and letting the crews know you have one operating would be helpful too."

Thelen says that can keep someone from getting hurt.

The National Weather Service expects rain to turn to snow Thursday night and Friday, with temperatures plunging into the single digits.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.