Duke Energy asks customers to conserve to avoid more outages through Monday

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Raleigh, North Carolina — A Duke Energy spokesman said the danger of a Carolina-wide power outage hasn’t gone away, as another frigid night begins.

In a message to customers Saturday night, the utility wrote:

On Saturday in Carolina, the number of customers without power slowly declined as power was restored to many. Duke Energy Progress reported he had more than 500,000 power outages during peak hours Saturday morning. By 10pm, about 12,000 people were still in the dark.

Along Lewisburg Road in Raleigh, some were forced to put their Christmas celebrations on hold, eat out, or spend the night in hotels.

Residents of north Raleigh who were without power for 12 hours told WRAL News that they had gone out to find firewood to heat their homes but were in trouble.

“The grocery store was closed,” she said.

Duke spokesman Jeff Brooks told WRAL News Saturday morning’s rolling blackout was the utility’s solution to even colder-than-expected temperatures and higher demand. Therefore, there was no backup power supply to utilize. Duke rotated blackouts statewide to save power and keep the grid from failing.

“When we were faced with the challenge of losing generations and bringing in others from across the region, the challenge came,” Brooks said.

Wind Chill, DMA

The blackout began on Friday, with high winds tearing through trees and lines and temperatures plummeting.

Brooks admitted that Duke Energy was unprepared to meet such high power demands.

“The result was a strain on the system and the need to implement these temporary outages that were intentionally designed to prevent longer or harmful outages. [from] It’s happening system-wide,” Brooks said.

Customers with electricity were asked to save as much as possible.

“If it’s powered off, you can turn things back on more slowly by turning off whatever was on when the power went off,” Brooks said. .

He could not provide a specific estimate for when all the outages would be resolved, but said he did not expect the issue to linger until Sunday afternoon.

“I expect the conditions to be a little better tonight,” he said. “And I hope I can offer everyone a quiet and peaceful Christmas night.”

Brooks said no more intentional rolling blackouts were planned, but that eventuality could not be ruled out.

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