Duke Energy: 4500 workers are ready to respond to WNC outages

Photo credit: WLOS staff

On Monday, Duke energy has multiple contract crews--and trucks--on standby.

"As we think about wind gusts that can lead to downed trees, it creates hazardous driving conditions, so we expect that we could see some outages here in Western North Carolina. So having crews close by and ready to respond will make those outages shorter in duration," said Danielle Peoples, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

In our area, the worst of Irma is expected to hit Henderson county and the Upstate.

Crews started arriving around 9 a.m. and will continue to come in and out as they are dispatched to areas with reported power outages.

Duke Energy says they have 4500 personnel across the state, ready to respond to power outages.

Initially, most of their crew were stationed on the eastern side of the state. But as Irma continued its westward track, they pulled those resources to be here in the mountains, because they anticipate this area to see the most rain and high winds.

Duke said that by having the crews on standby, it can restore power more quickly to areas that have been hit the hardest

As the rain continues to fall, and wind speeds are anticipated to pick up, that's when Duke expects to see those downed trees and power lines.

After everything is cleared up here in the Carolinas, crews will then trek to Florida to assist with outages there. Duke says right now in Florida, 1.2 million people are without power..

Duke Energy says if you see a downed power line, don't touch it, and assume that it's live.

If you come across any power outages, or downed lines, Duke says to call 1-800-POWER-ON.