CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy has restored power to more than 637,000 customers so far in North Carolina and South Carolina out of more than 1.1 million total outages caused by what is now Tropical Storm Florence.
Another 472,000 customers remain without power in the Carolinas as of 5 p.m.today (Saturday).
Additional outages are expected as the storm continues to roll through the Carolinas tonight (Saturday).
The company will provide estimated power restoration times once field crews complete damage assessments, which could take several days due to continued high winds and heavy rains, and road closures caused by severe flooding and storm debris.
Latest outage numbers can be found here.
Significant progress restoring power
"Our crews during the past 24 hours have made significant progress restoring power in areas of the Carolinas where it is safe to do," said Duke Energy incident commander Howard Fowler.
"However, we unfortunately have been unable to make repairs in some of the hardest-hit coastal areas due to continuing high winds and road access problems caused by major flooding," Fowler said.
"In those hard-hit areas, total power restoration might take weeks, not days, due to widespread flooding and significant damage to power lines, utility poles and other key components of the electric grid," he said. "We greatly appreciate our customers' patience as we work as quickly and safely as possible."
In advance of the storm, Duke Energy assembled its largest Carolinas storm response ever – more than 20,000 personnel staged at 39 key locations across the two states.
How to report power outages
Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines
Stay away from fallen and sagging power lines. Keep children, pets and others away from power lines.
Consider all power lines – as well as trees, branches and anything else in contact with power lines – energized and dangerous.
Use extreme caution when traversing damaged and flooded areas. Energized power lines could be hidden by debris and standing water.
High-water safety reminders
People who live along lakes and rivers, and in other low-lying or flood-prone areas, should pay close attention to local emergency management officials, the National Weather Service and local media for changing weather conditions and rising water levels.
Updated lake levels are available at duke-energy.com//lakes and by calling 800.829.5253 (Duke Energy Carolinas lakes) or 800.899.4435 (Duke Energy Progress lakes).
Storm updates, videos
Storm updates and videos from Duke Energy can be found at www.dukeenergyupdates.com.