RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As high wind gusts hit the state, the number of power outages increased throughout the day Friday in North Carolina and spiked early Saturday morning.
At 10:30 p.m. Friday, about 41,940 customers across North Carolina were without power, according to PowerOutage. As of 1:30 p.m. Saturday, 301,204 Duke Energy customers across the state are without power.
On Friday, outages in North Carolina topped 150,000 customers. As of 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, PowerOutage.us reported 251,291 customers were without power across North Carolina.
In a statement to CBS 17, Duke Energy specialist Jeff Brooks said, “Due to extreme conditions and demand for electricity on the electric system, Duke Energy is currently taking emergency steps to manage customer electric use. We are conducting emergency temporary interruptions of service to customers to extend available power generation and help maintain operations until additional power is available. These outages are temporary and rotated among customers and will continue until additional electricity is available and normal operation of the power grid resumes. We expect load shedding to continue until at least 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. Load shed typically rotates outages in 15-30 minute blocks.
We understand how difficult an outage can be during extreme temperatures, especially during a holiday. And we also realize many customers experienced an outage from yesterday’s storm or may still be experiencing an outage. Our crews will continue to work throughout the day to repair remaining power outages from yesterday’s wind storm and we will return to normal operations from these temporary outages for all customers as soon as we are able.”
On Friday, CBS 17 Meteorologist Lance Blocker said winds peaked at 54 mph at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and 55 mph at the Fayetteville Regional Airport.
In Wake County, 16,000 Duke Energy customers were without power as of 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. That number was under 6,000 at 10 p.m. Friday night.
Governor Roy Cooper (D) released the following statement:
“This morning I spoke with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to offer assistance and to express urgency about the need to restore power quickly in this extreme cold while keeping customers accurately informed. I’m grateful for the workers braving the wind and cold to get the power back on.”
Check back for updates.