By Kendall McGee | May 18, 2021 at 4:31 PM EDT – Updated May 18 at 4:39 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Crews with Duke Energy were busy installing improvements to neighborhoods in downtown Wilmington Tuesday, two weeks out from the start of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season.
Duke Energy workers were in bucket trucks in the area of Ninth and Orange streets, upgrading poles and wires that deliver power to approximately 9,000 households. Crews were also installing “self-healing” technology, which automatically detects outages and reroutes service to restore power faster.
Spokesperson Jeff Brooks says the improvements have been in the works for some time and it’s all part of the company’s multi-year plan.
“This area has seen its fair share of severe weather and we’re seeing storms increasing in frequency and severity, so we recognize we need to make improvements to make the grid stronger, to make it able to recover faster when we do have outages and that’s really what this is about,” said Brooks.
According to the company, crews prepare year round for the possibility of severe weather, whether it’s trimming vegetation, training to respond to outages, or upgrading equipment.
Wilmington is one specific area Duke Energy is making improvements, but projects are happening across our entire five county region, impacting close to 40,000 families. The company says each site is lined up for different upgrades, depending on what their data reveals each area’s needs are.
“Near coastal areas, we’ve upgraded some of our poles along the beaches in places where we tend to see higher winds. Further inland, where we’ve had concerns about flooding, we’ve actually worked to build barriers around our essential equipment to make sure they can withstand that. So we try to look for the right solution in each area and those solutions help us to better serve customers,” Brooks said.
With just days until the start of hurricane season, now is the time to begin preparing for the chance of a storm yourself. If you’re not sure where to begin, we have a checklist for you in the First Alert Hurricane Center page.
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