Power was out for nearly a half-million customers in North Carolina and more than 430,000 Duke Energy customers in the Carolinas as of Friday morning, after Tropical Storm Michael swept through the region.
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Michael, the once-powerful Category 4 storm that made landfall on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon, had weakened significantly by the time it reached the Carolinas, but was still causing heavy rain and strong winds — knocking out power across the area.
Duke Energy reported that 434,085 of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas were without power as of 7:30 a.m. Friday across North Carolina (428,425 outages) and into northern and eastern South Carolina (5,660).
Many of those left in the dark were unable to get through to Duke Energy to report their outages Thursday night.
“Customers who are calling our customer service lines may experience a busy signal. We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it,” Duke Energy reported after 9 p.m. It suggested customers without power visit DukeEnergyUpdates.com. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
On Wednesday, the utility announced that as many as 300,000 to 500,000 of its customers could see power outages from Michael.
“Depending on the extent of damage, crews’ ability to access remote areas, and conditions such as flooding after the storm,” Duke Energy said some outages “could last several days.”
North Carolina Emergency Management reported 497,673 total outages in the state as of 7:30 a.m. Friday. On Thursday, it said most outages were in “Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan and Union counties.”
The storm barreled through South Carolina earlier, doing most of its damage in the morning. While there had been as many as 125,000 outages reported Thursday, that number dropped significantly by the evening.
As of 11:30 p.m. there were a combined 15,528 outages still reported between Duke Energy, SCE&G, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and Santee Cooper.