After snowstorms, power outage numbers shrink in Carolinas

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The latest on effects of a massive snowstorm that hit the Carolinas hard before moving north up the East Coast (all times local):

The number of customers without electricity has shrunk in North Carolina.

Duke Energy reports that as of Sunday afternoon, about 28,000 customers were without power — a fraction of the outages at the storm's peak.

Separately, North Carolina's electric cooperatives said they had restored power to all 25,000 of their customers who lost power at the storm's peak.

In South Carolina, Duke Energy said fewer than 100 of its customers were without power.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory urged residents to remain cautious while thanking utility workers, law enforcement, the National Guard and other emergency workers.

A news release from the governor's office said the State Highway Patrol responded to more than 4,600 calls for assistance and investigated more than 2,400 crashes since the storm began.

Charlotte's airport announced that its runways were clear and it had resumed normal operations by Sunday.

However, school remained canceled for students in numerous areas around North Carolina, including the systems surrounding Raleigh and Charlotte.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a pedestrian has been killed in a weather-related crash.

An emailed news release said the crash happened Saturday afternoon in Greenville County. The patrol says a 44-year-old man was walking along the road when a vehicle hit a frozen area and struck him.

From early Friday morning through Saturday night, the patrol responded to 541 crashes, assisted 241 motorists and responded to 110 calls about trees or powerlines in the road.

The patrol said it has resumed normal operations after the storm.

Authorities say an elderly couple in Greenville, South Carolina, has died of carbon monoxide poisoning during the massive winter snow storm.

Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans said in an email that carbon monoxide is the suspected cause of death for the couple who were in their 80s.

He said 86-year-old Ruby Bell and her husband, 87-year-old Robert Bell, were found dead at home by their son over the weekend. He said the time of death was believed to be Friday night.

Russell Watson, the Duncan Chapel Fire District chief, told The Greenville News that the couple had lost power during the storm and a relative had set up a generator in their garage. Watson said the relative left the garage door propped open with a ladder, but it somehow closed and the generator filled the house with carbon monoxide.

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