Florence power outages in the Charlotte area leave tens of thousands in the dark

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As of 10:30 a.m. Sunday, tens of thousands of residents across the Charlotte region were without power as strong winds from former Hurricane Florence, now labeled a tropical depression, downed trees and knocked over power lines.

In total, more than 450,000 Duke Energy customers across North and South Carolina had lost power Sunday morning, the Charlotte-based utility said. That figure includes over 18,000 households in Mecklenburg County.

Elsewhere in the Charlotte region, household power outages include more than 3,200 in York County, more than 4,500 in Union County and more than 3,500 in Gaston County, Duke said.

The company’s power outage map can be viewed online at at www.duke-energy.com/outages/current-outages.

Florence was downgraded to a tropical depression early Sunday morning, and gained speed to 8 mph as it moved west with sustained winds of 35 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. update.

Duke had estimated between 1 million and 3 million of its 4 million residential and business customers across North and South Carolina could lose power due to the storm. On Saturday, Duke said 1.1 million customers had lost power at some point during the storm and additional outages were expected.

Some of those outages could last weeks, depending on how long it takes for linemen to safely make repairs, the utility said.

Duke said it has 20,000 workers, including workers from utilities in other states and Canada, ready to restore power when it is safe to do so.

By Saturday evening, Duke had restored power to more than 637,000 homes across the Carolinas, the utility said.

If residents see a power line problem, Duke Energy Carolinas customers should call 800-769-3766 and Duke Energy Progress customers should call 800-419-6356. Duke Energy customers can report outages online here: www.dukeenergyupdates.com.

Duke Energy is urging customers stay away from fallen and sagging power lines, and consider all power lines to be energized and dangerous.

The N.C. Electric Cooperatives outage map can be viewed at https://outages.ncelectriccooperatives.com/outages/maps.