Duke Energy Corp. trucks sit parked ahead of Hurricane Florence in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Hurricane Florences wrath hit the North Carolina coast, but the full effects of the storm, still centered 100 miles from shore, are yet to come. Photographer: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This weekend we had severe flash flood warnings in charlotte and surrounding areas.  There hadn’t been rain like this in the city in a long time.  The weather from this weekend caused a lot of power outages also.

“It’s more about weather this year than anything else. We’ve had a rough weather year, especially during the Spring, in the Charlotte area.

Across Charlotte and the surrounding areas there has been a 52 percent increase in weather related outage events this year compared to 2019. The area that saw the greatest increase was the Matthew operations territory which had a 23 percent increase in events compared to 2019.

– Matthews operations center territory: 23% increase in outage events this year to date compared to 2019

– Newell operations center territory: 16% increase in outage events this year to date compared to 2019

– Little Rock operations center territory: 17% increase in outage events this year to date compared to 2019.

– Gastonia operations center territory: 16% increase in outage events this year to date compared to 2019.

– Kannapolis operations center territory: 9% increase in outage events this year to date compared to 2019.

The problem with bad weather is it causes trees to fall.

60 percent of Duke’s outages are because of trees but often those trees aren’t on their property and have to get permission, which isn’t always easy. In response Duke says it has increased its tree trimming project and is even working with neighborhoods on trees to plant that are less likely to fall during a storm.

They’re also burying lines underground but Wimberly said that they rely on data showing the areas most prone to power outages before tackling that process.

“Most of our systems remain overhead and it is very costly to put the mainline feeders underground,” Wimberly said.

“When it makes economic sense to put underground, we do that.”

Duke is also developing a “self healing” technology so that power outages will basically repair themselves for some customers.

Duke expects to install enough self-healing technology to serve most customers in the next few years. The self-healing system can automatically detect, isolate and reroute power when an outage occurs. This helps reduce the number of outages and the duration of an outage, by restoring power in a matter of minutes.

Did your power go out this past weekend?