As power outages continue in parts of the Triangle, neighbors are coming together to share freezer space, generators and showers.
More than 25,000 Duke Energy customers in Wake County were still without electricity Tuesday afternoon. Across North Carolina, about 144,000 customers were in the dark.
In some areas, power might not be restored until this weekend.
“We’ve been really lucky to have good neighbors,” said Bob deRosset, who lives in the Quail Hollow neighborhood near North Hills in Raleigh.
Although he is without power, deRosset has a gas stove and water heater, so he has opened his home to neighbors who need a hot shower or a stove to cook on. He and his next-door neighbor are sharing a generator.
“Everybody’s looked out for everybody,” deRosset said.
Luke Wallenbeck, who lives in the Longview Gardens neighborhood in east Raleigh, said friends have offered to store his family’s refrigerated and frozen foods to prevent them from going to waste.
“We’ve been eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly,” Wallenbeck said, adding that he has been showering at his job.
“We were expecting to be without power, but not for this long,” he said.
To restore power across the state, Duke Energy quadrupled the number of workers, said spokeswoman Roz Bennett. The company brought in crews from other states and electric utilities.
“Our goal is to restore every customer’s power by 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, but many will get power before then,” Bennett said.
To get estimated restoration times, customers can visit www.duke-energy.com/matthew, click on “restoration times” for the Carolinas and use the outage map to zoom in on their location.
In the meantime, residents are doing what they can to get by. Twenty-nine people used the showers at Raleigh community centers on Tuesday, said city spokesman John Boyette.
The city made shower facilities available at community centers on Tuesday, and showers will also be available at some centers Wednesday. Raleigh offered day care services at some community centers Tuesday, but Boyette said no families dropped off their children, likely because Wake County public schools held classes.
Rick Wilfong said he worried that trees were blocking the main streets in the Cameron Park neighborhood in Raleigh.
“I’m concerned that emergency vehicles won’t be able to get through,” Wilfong said. “People are sharing generators, which is a fire hazard, and if something happens, they may not be able to get to us.”
Mark Paccione, who lives in the Lakemont subdivision in Raleigh, said his family has gone out to eat every night since losing power. They’ve been using candles and flashlights as they get ready for work and school in the mornings.
“You quickly realize how much of daily life is dependent on electricity,” Paccione said.
Utility crews have been unable to reach some areas in Eastern North Carolina, which has seen devastating floods in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. They must wait for waters to recede.
“It’s been a long, hard road,” Bennett said. “Even though the sun’s out, we still have a lot of work to do.”
Madison Iszler: 919-836-4952; @madisoniszler