Hurricane Florence: Duke Energy says 75% of Carolina customers could lose power

Duke Energy said Wednesday that power outages related to Hurricane Florence could affect up to 75 percent of its customers in North and South Carolina.

The company, which provides power to about 4 million in the region, said in a news release that it expects anywhere from 1 million to 3 million customers to lose service.

More than 10,000 Duke utility workers and 9,400 from other companies have been stationed in the Carolinas to restore power, the release said.

"Despite our work force, customers should continue to make plans for their homes and facilities," Howard Fowler, Duke Energy's incident commander, said in a statement. "It's important for people to know this is no ordinary storm, and customers could be without power for a very long time – not days, but weeks."

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Officials also urged customers to avoid downed power lines, prepare an emergency supply kit, stock up on nonperishable food and water, charge electronic devices such as cellphones, and make plans to safely evacuate family members and pets.

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