Hurricane Florence has left thousands of people without power as it crawls across eastern North Carolina.
While Duke Energy has estimated between 1 and 3 million people will be affected by the hurricane, around 307,369 customers are already without power with numbers rising. Tri-County Electric has also reported that 12,054 of their customers are without power due to the storm.
As of Friday morning, an estimated number of 11,355 people in Wayne County are without power according to combined numbers from Duke Energy and Tri-County Electric. The number of outages is expected to increase as the storm approaches.
Shawna Berger, spokesperson for Duke Energy, said that power restoration could take weeks due to extensive damage from the storm. However, Duke Energy has a response team of more than 20,000 people ready to assess damage and restore power once conditions are clear and safe.
“We have to wait until the storm passes until it's safe to assess the situation and begin repair,” Bill Norton, senior communication consultant at Duke Energy said. “For example, we cannot safely put a lineman in a bucket truck when the winds are above 35 mph.
Power outages have most affected areas closest to the coast, with Duke Energy reporting a combined number of 125,387 outages for New Hanover and Carteret counties.