“We help each other out. We know that Duke Energy has linemen and they’re going to need our help. And if we would call for them, they would come for us,” said Brian Kern, a lineman with Ohio Edison.
1500 linemen from Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan are stationed at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, and another 600 out-of-state electrical workers are stationed at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, home to the Carolina Mudcats.
“It’s going to be setting poles for a couple hours, and it might be going over getting tree limbs and wires back up on another circuit,” Kern explained.
Duke Energy has set up a class for out-of-state workers to teach them about their circuit system and wildlife they may encounter while working.
While Dorian is not expected to bring the same amount of pounding, drawn-out rain as Florence, Duke Energy is using that experience to prepare for Dorian.
“We learned about our substations can be prone to flooding, things down east in low-lying areas. So we have barriers, sometimes inflatable barriers, that can go around these substations to keep water out because once you flood a substation, you have to de-energize a circuit and that causes power outages,” explained Randy Wheeless, a Duke Energy spokesperson.
In the face of expected road closures and difficult conditions, Duke Energy will take to the sky in an attempt to try and highlight hard-hit areas.
“We also use drones now. So a drone can go through an area and say, ‘oh, well, ten power poles are down in this area.’ That makes our logistics people know we need power poles in this area, and we’ll have them ready,” Wheeless said.
In total, about 9000 electric workers are spread out across the state.
Drivers should proceed with caution along Rock Quarry Road, as trucks have been pulling in and out of the amphitheater grounds, leading to temporary road closures.
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