MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) – Power outages already are creeping up along the North Carolina coast as tropical storm-force winds started sweeping over land.
Electric utilities and cooperatives reported about 12,000 outages statewide as of early Thursday afternoon, with nearly all of them at the coast. Most of the homes and businesses without electricity are in Carteret and Craven counties. Both are north of the eye’s projected path and expected to get massive amounts of rain- potentially 20 inches (50 centimeters) or more.
Duke Energy is the largest of the utilities in the Carolinas. The company predicts Carolinas power outages caused by Florence will range from 1 million to 3 million customers. It’s got more than 20,000 workers from the Carolinas and other states in place to restore power.
Duke reported few South Carolina outages Thursday afternoon.