Over 722,000 without power as Florence batters Carolinas

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(Reuters) – U.S. Southeast power companies said over 722,000 homes and businesses located mostly in North Carolina and South Carolina were without power on Friday after Hurricane Florence hit the coast.

A member of the U.S. Army walks through floodwaters near the Union Point Park Complex as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Florence crashed into the Carolinas on Friday with 90-mph (144 kph) winds, torrential rains and a powerful storm surge before slowing to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.

Duke Energy Corp, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million and 3 million outages. Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, it said.

Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including over 8,000 from Duke’s Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.

(GRAPHIC: Hurricane Florence – tmsnrt.rs/2p5XM5i)

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru and Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Susan Thomas and Marguerita Choy

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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