More than 400,000 in Carolinas still without power after Tropical Storm Michael

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More than 33,000 Mecklenburg County customers of Duke Energy are without power Friday morning, a day after the center of Tropical Storm Michael blew past the Charlotte region.

At 8 a.m., Duke reported 428,000 North Carolina customers still affected and about 5,600 in South Carolina. The Charlotte-based utility had projected 300,000 to 500,000 outages in the Carolinas from Michael.

High wind gusts, following several inches of rain in some places, toppled trees that tore down power lines across the region Thursday afternoon. In Mecklenburg County, Medic said it had responded to 57 tree-related calls by 3 p.m. Thursday — more than occurred during Hurricane Florence in September.

North Carolina’s mid-section was hardest hit by outages.

That included the Greensboro and Winston-Salem area, with more than 92,000 customers in Guilford County, 27,000 in Forsyth and 24,000 in Alamance without power on Friday morning. Nearly 57,000 customers were affected in Raleigh and Durham.

Some outages could take days to repair, Duke says. About 6,000 repair workers, including brought in from as far as Canada, are on the ground and more are on the way from Florida and the Midwest. Duke says damage is still being assessed in most cases, a process that can take up to 24 hours.

By 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Duke had reported restoring power to 180,000 customers but said 490,000 remained without power.

An Iredell County man died Thursday when a large oak tree toppled onto his car in Iredell County, becoming at least the sixth victim of the storm since Michael made landfall in Florida’s panhandle as a Category 4 storm earlier in the day.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051; @bhender