• Officials: Duke Energy followed procedures during damaging flood

    By: Tina Terry

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Residents have gotten answers three months after water flooded their homes in north Mecklenburg County, especially along Riverside Drive.

    [ALSO READ: Catawba River flood victims meet with lawyers over perceived lack of aid]

    Many blamed Duke Energy, saying the company didn’t do enough to stop the water from pouring out of the nearby Catawba River.

    Duke Energy disagreed with the residents’ claims.

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Duke Energy followed the proper procedures.

    A letter from the federal officials acknowledged that residents did have concerns about the warnings they were given before those floodwaters destroyed many homes.

    [Letter from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]

    Many residents are still evacuated and are thinking about suing Duke Energy.

    "It's been three months, and they're still homeless living in campers," a resident, who did not want to be identified, said.

    Duke Energy is responsible for water levels along the Catawba River.

    Residents said the utility company didn’t give them proper warning during the June flood before opening the floodgates to the dam, which released water downstream.

    "The warning this last time was awful, terrible. There was no warning at all," the resident said.

    The federal commission did not find any violations but said that “residents living next to the project reservoirs have concerns" about things like "the timeliness and effectiveness of public notices and warnings." 

    The commission asked Duke Energy to work with emergency management agencies, the National Weather Service and the public to evaluate those things and come up with "potential improvements."

    "It’s good to get together and have a plan to give us more warning, so we can get our stuff and get out," the resident said.

    Duke Energy will have to compile a report on its findings and send that back to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


    Duke Energy statement:

    "We are pleased and agree with FERC’s determination that the reservoir level deviations during this storm event did not violate our license requirements, and that we communicated in accordance with our license and emergency action plan."


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