Duke Energy installing new safeguards in response to previous hurricanes

Duke Energy Progress is making investments in critical infrastructure after being crippled by hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

The power provider has been putting flood barriers up around substations in flood-prone areas in the hopes of protecting them from rising water levels and ultimately keep the power on longer during a storm.

"We take lessons learned from every storm," said Duke Energy Progress spokesperson Meredith Archie.

There have been two devastating, powerful storms in the last few years that caused extensive damage and flooding to the point that some communities were completely cut off.

RELATED: Duke Energy keeping crew close to home ahead of Dorian

The U.S. Coast Guard had to chopper in food and medical supplies to Wilmington.

Neighborhoods were underwater, rescues were taking place by boat, and Duke's substations were also swallowed up by water.

The barriers are being installing right now in some spots.

Some locations are getting permanent flood protection barriers, while others are getting a temporary fix.

"We're making them taller and wider and really looking at impacts of Florence as we design and engineer those solutions," Archie said.

MORE: Full coverage of Hurricane Dorian

We're being told the barriers can either be clay-filled or in the style of a dam.

Whatever the design, it is meant to keep more people online if a monstrous storm bares down.

More than 2 million residents lost power during Florence.

"It's part of the investments and work we're doing to strengthen our grid, to make it more resilient to these potential storms," Archie said.

The company said preps are also underway for Dorian.

"We are prepared and we're making sure that we have all of our staffing and equipment and everything in place so we'll be able to respond quickly and remain flexible if there are any shifts in Dorian's path," Archie said.
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