ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hurricane season begins June 1 and experts forecast nine named storms, of which three will become hurricanes. Recognized as an industry leader in storm preparedness and restoration, Duke Energy is ready.
During the past year, the company has continued to take aggressive action to strengthen its energy delivery system, such as comprehensively inspecting power poles, upgrading the distribution system and thoroughly trimming and pruning trees and other vegetation that may contribute to power outages if a storm strikes. Over the last three years, the company has spent more than $500 million on maintaining and strengthening its Florida system. "Our company works year-round to ensure we're ready for whatever Mother Nature brings," said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president – Florida. "Our skilled and dedicated storm teams mobilize and move quickly into the communities we serve when the power goes out. They are the ones who run into the storm, not evacuate out." Floridians live with the threat of hurricanes, and if a storm strikes, Duke Energy employees work to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. "Our field personnel, located across the state, put it all on the line every day for the benefit of our customers," said Michael Lewis, senior vice president, Florida Delivery Operations. "And thousands of other dedicated employees have a hand in storm preparation and restoration year in and year out." An important part of the company's storm-hardening improvements is inspecting and replacing power poles. In the last eight years, Duke Energy Florida has inspected more than 898,000 poles and replaced about 29,000 of them. More than 479,000 poles were treated to prevent decay.