GREENSBORO, N.C. — How does Duke Energy decide who gets power first? What is the process? When you’re the one without power, there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to power restoration, but there is.
It all starts with accessing the damage and figuring out what crews will be dealing with.
Next comes the workflow chart. If there is nothing wrong with the source or transmission lines or substation, then the real work begins with the main power lines that deliver power to the area as a whole. Next, the emergency and essential services like hospitals are restored.
“Then we move into the main lines through town, so the highways and boulevards. Today, we’re into the part neighborhoods, backstreets and backyards,” said Jeff Brooks of Duke Energy.
Those neighborhood and backyard fixes are time-consuming. For example, at each individual location, only 20 or 30 people will be restored, but it can take between three to four hours for each fix. Then you multiply that by the 500 to 600 individual outages and you see the challenge.
We asked Jeff Brooks three commonly asked questions about power outages:
WHY IS MY NEIGHBOR'S POWER ON BUT MINE ISN'T?
The reason that is sometimes neighborhoods are served by different lines from different directions, so even if you're on the same street, your power may come from a completely different direction than your neighbor.
WHERE IS THE POWER CREW?
Sometimes people say, ‘I haven't seen a crew in my neighborhood in two days’. It's not because we have forgotten you, it's because we're working on a line further up the way that supplies power to your neighborhood, so fixing the line in front of your house wouldn't do anything until we completed those other repairs.
WHY DID MY POWER TURN ON AND GO BACK OFF AGAIN?
We sometimes see instances where an outage is restored and then the power goes off and in some of those instances, it's because there is a new outage or there is a problem down the line that has caused the power to go back off.