CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - About 500,000 Duke Energy customers lost power at one point during Tropical Storm Michael Thursday, and as of Friday evening almost half of those clients were back online.
For the 275,000 customers that are still without power, Duke officials say it could be a few days.
Most of the damage done to power lines was due to downed trees, which officials say all came on very quickly after Tropical Storm Michael’s winds whipped through our area.
"About noon yesterday, we had three job orders for outages here in the Charlotte area. When the winds moved through a half hour later, we had 30,000,” Bill Norton, a spokesperson with Duke Energy, said Friday.
Michael’s wind took out many of the trees Florence’s rainfall had weakened, and the combination proved devastating. However, with powerful damage comes a powerful response.
Duke Energy started by dispatching 6,000 workers statewide, and this morning called in an extra 3000 sets of hands to speed up their response. Even still, officials say it could be a few days for some.
“The challenge is, we have to start with the hospitals first, police, firemen, anything that’s urgent, we’ll start there, then we go to major transmission lines, substations, and we’ll work our way down,” Norton said.
Norton says they base their order of operations off of how many customers are being affected.
The outages that involve 200-300 homes will come before those that are only affecting two or three. Customers can check Duke’s most up-to-date outage information on their website, found here.