Power Outages Climbing Quickly

September 14, 2018

The number of power outages began to rise sharply today as Hurricane Florence made its way along the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts, bringing strong winds, heavy rain and storm surge.  Outage numbers continue to rise, too.  Duke Energy is reporting they are now in the hundreds of thousands, with those numbers continuing to rise.  Emergency Management officials say about 700,000 are without power at this time, some 380,000 are serviced by Duke in the Carolinas.

In South Carolina, as of 10pm Friday, Sept 14, most of the outages are in the Pee Dee region including Myrtle Beach, Florence and Sumter. (You can see Duke's current outages here.)  Those same areas are looking at historic flooding.  

Duke officials are still expecting between 1 and 3 million customers to be without power across the Carolinas, with some not having power restored for weeks.  Crews are expected to go out once the storm clears and the winds die down, saying that trying to repair lines and other electrical infrastructure using bucket trucks is unsafe when winds are greater than 35 mph..  The company reports over 20,000 crews on standby.

Right now, the areas with the most structural damage are said to be in the coastal North Carolina counties of Carteret, Craven and New Hanover.