Duke Energy has restored power to more than 1 million customers out of more than 1.4 million total power outages following Hurricane Florence.
Approximately 404,000 customers, 381,000 in North Carolina and 23,000 in South Carolina, were still without power as of 4 p.m. September 16, 2018.
Duke Energy said it expects additional outages as the storm continues.
The company has dispatched more than 20,000 personnel to restore power. Severe flooding, road closures, wind gusts and storm debris have caused challenges for restoration workers.
Many major highways and secondary roads remained closed due to flooding, limiting vehicle access to some areas including Wilmington and New Bern, North Carolina.
“Some of the most challenging power restoration work remains ahead in currently inaccessible coastal areas that experienced massive flooding and structural damage,” Duke Energy said in a press release.
Duke Energy established 12 separate areas for restoration across North and South Carolina to provide targeted updates.
“In hard-hit areas, estimated restoration times will be determined after field crews first complete damage assessments,” the company said. “That process could take several days due to flooding and road closures. In those areas, total power restoration might take weeks, rather than days, due to flooding and widespread damage to power lines, utility poles and other key components of the electric grid.”
Duke encouraged customers to report outages as well as to stay away from fallen or sagging power lines and take other safety measures.