RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Winter weather is on its way and it brings the possibility for power outages across central North Carolina.
While road crews work to pre-treat highways and city streets, energy companies are clearing around power lines to minimize the potential damage if ice builds up during the weekend winter storm.
“Ice builds up on branches, and trees and powerlines,” said Catherine O’Dell, with the South River Electric Membership Corporation. “That can cause a lot of scattered outages that take a long time to restore.”
O’Dell said power companies, large and small, have all hands on deck for this weekend.
“Everything’s ready to go,” O’Dell said. “We have plenty of poles and transformers and wire and now we just wait and see.”
The company is cutting branches and large limbs near power lines.
CBS 17’s Storm Team forecasts more than a quarter-inch of ice accumulation in some areas.
“You can have outages starting at about a tenth of an inch,” O’Dell said.
O’Dell said It’s important to have a power outage plan, that includes a source of heat but keeping your home well ventilated. She also suggested charging up electronics.
If you’re dependent on medical equipment with power, have a backup plan of where to go that may have a generator, such as a hotel.
Duke Energy is also bringing in 1,000 extra workers from other states to be on standby.
Plus, the American Red Cross said they’re prepared to open shelters in the case of extended power outages.
“If that’s the case, we’ll have volunteers on standby working with partners to get those volunteers there and open a warming shelter if we indeed expect long-term power outages,” said Barry Porter, American Red Cross Regional CEO.
Porter said the Red Cross sees an increase in house fires when temperatures drop. He urges people keep space heaters away from flammable objects, clean out chimneys if using a wood-burning fire and double-check smoke alarms.