A new self-service tool that allows customers to search for information regarding power outages is now available on Progress Energy Carolinas' (Raleigh, North Carolina) external Web site at http://www.progress-energy.com/outagemap.

The Progress Energy outage map tool provides real-time reports on power outages (including both planned maintenance outages and unplanned outages caused by storms, traffic accidents or equipment failure). It is available 24 hours a day. Features of the tool include:

  • Storm and non-storm mode views
  • Map or table format views
  • Color-coded icons based on the size of the outage
  • Outages by county table
  • A "go to" feature for outage searches by address

The online maps will provide outage information down to city and town detail and includes information such as the number of customers affected, the time the outage occurred and an estimated time power will be restored. To protect customer privacy and security, the Outage Maps Tool does not display outage views to a specific street address.

During major outage events (such as storms), the map tool will present outages by county -- highlighted in yellow shades, based on severity.

The outage maps do not include the cause of the outages. Power outages occur for many different reasons. They can occur when an object, such as a tree limb, comes in contact with a power line. During severe weather, high winds, lightning, heavy rain and flooding can damage underground or overhead electrical equipment. On occasion, service may be interrupted when underground lines are damaged by unauthorized digging. Utility poles and power lines can be damaged as a result of vehicle accidents. Small animals also sometimes climb on transformers and fuses, causing the equipment to shut down.

"Our job is to keep power outages to a minimum," said Lloyd M. Yates, president and CEO-Progress Energy Carolinas. "But when they do occur, we are committed not only to restoring service as quickly and safely as possible, but also to providing information that is useful to our customers, in as many forms as possible."