South Carolina flooding hampers power restoration effort

APTOPIX Hurricane Matthew North Carolina

More than 10,000 people are working to restore power Wednesday to Duke Energy customers in the Carolinas in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

About 115,000 customers remain without power – 65,000 in North Carolina and 50,000 in South Carolina. Extreme flooding in certain counties has hindered restoration.

"Until flood waters recede, we are unable to restore power to some areas," said Bobby Simpson, who is overseeing Duke Energy's restoration efforts. "Our focus is to continue to restore power in areas where we can access and work safely – and in communities where customers are in a position to receive electricity."

Simpson added extreme flooding will continue to hamper restoration in:

North Carolina – Areas surrounding Clinton, Goldsboro, Kinston and Lumberton

South Carolina – Areas surrounding Florence, Hartsville and Marion

More than one million customers in the Carolinas lost power as a result of Hurricane Matthew. At its peak, 680,000 Duke Energy customers were without power on Sunday morning Oct. 9.

The number of customers affected could continue to grow as specific rivers crest, potentially damaging more electrical equipment and causing additional outages.

In terms of outages, Hurricane Matthew is the fifth worst storm to hit the combined Duke Energy / Duke Energy Progress service area –with damage similar in scale to past storms like Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

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