CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy crews today continued restoring power to North Carolina and South Carolina customers impacted by Hurricane Florence in hard-hit coastal and inland counties.
Crews have restored power to 1.7 million customers out of nearly 1.8 million total outages caused by the powerful storm.
As of 7 p.m., 49,000 customers – most of them in North Carolina – remained without power. The latest outage numbers can be found here.
Many of the remaining impacted customers are located in coastal and inland areas that experienced historic flooding, multiple road closures and significant structural damage.
Estimated restoration times
Duke Energy expects to restore power to most customers by Sept. 26 at 11:45 p.m. – but the vast majority will be restored sooner.
See the latest map for estimated power restoration times, by geographical area. Duke Energy will send customers – via text message – additional information, including updated restoration times, when available.
Meter box damage might delay service
Estimated power restoration times apply to customers whose homes and businesses did not experience flooding or other damage that might prevent electric service restoration – due to safety reasons.
Locations impacted by flooding or other damage might require repairs by a licensed electrician and/or inspection by local officials before electric service can be restored.
Damaged meter boxes are one example. Though Duke Energy owns the actual meter at each customer's home or business, the customer owns the meter box in which the meter is mounted. The company cannot restore power to a location whose meter box is damaged, for safety reasons.
Bill payment assistance
Duke Energy today also said it would provide flexible bill payment arrangements for customers experiencing financial hardship due to the storm.
In addition, the company will waive late-payment charges for up to two months for customers who experienced significant property damage.
Customers who need assistance or who have questions can call Duke Energy Carolinas (800.769.3766), or Duke Energy Progress (800.452.2777) to speak with a customer service representative.
"Large numbers of our customers were impacted by Hurricane Florence and will experience financial difficulty in the days and weeks ahead. We encourage affected customers to call us so we can provide flexible payment options to assist them during this time of serious need," said Lesley Quick, Duke Energy's vice president of revenue services.
Use caution near repair crews
North Carolina law requires drivers to move over one lane – when two or more lanes are available in each direction – to ensure the safety of roadside utility crews making powerline repairs, as well as ambulances and other emergency responders.
On roads with only one traffic lane in each direction, drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop. Violators could face fines.
Communicators posting local updates
Duke Energy communicators are posting the latest local information about power restoration at Hurricane Florence Journal: Reports from the field.
The communicators also are posting on Twitter:
Jeff Brooks – @DE_JeffB
Grace Rountree – @DE_GraceR
Ana Gibbs – @DE_AnaGibbs
Chris Rimel – @ChrisRimel
More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. (NYSE: DUK).
SOURCE Duke Energy