Hurricane Florence touched down early this morning on the South East coast of North Carolina as a devastating Category 2 storm, with wind gusts exceeding 100 mph, life-threatening storm surges, and widespread flash floods.
According to the Duke Energy power outage map, there are currently 322,272 customers without power in North Carolina (as of 10:35am);
Most of the outages are in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus Craven, Duplin, New Hanover, Robeson, Sampson, Wake, Wayne, Pamlico, Pender and Onslow counties near the coast.
The company sent out a press release 2 days ago announcing that they estimate over 3 million customers could lose power from Hurricane Florence and that it may take weeks to restore.
“The magnitude of the storm is beyond what we have seen in years,” said Howard Fowler, Duke Energy’s incident commander. “With the storm expected to linger, power restoration work could take weeks instead of days.”
The Carolina’s largest energy company has now amassed a team of over 20,000 workers to begin restoring power once the storm hits, including 8,000 Carolinas-based workers, 1,700 from Duke Energy Midwest, 1,200 from Duke Energy Florida, and 9,400 from other utilities.
If you live anywhere in the Carolinas, Duke Energy recommends having the following emergency items stocked in your home in case of a power outage;
- Car charger for cell phones and other devices
- Clean drinking water (recommended 1 gallon per person per day, minimum three days)
- Batteries: Extra batteries for all of your devices
- Weather radio/clock
- Non-perishable food
- First aid kit
All the above items are available via Amazon’s same-day Prime Now service if your local store has already been cleaned out.