Thousands Remain Without Power After Irma Swept By North Carolina

Sep 12, 2017

Updated at 11:40 a.m., Sept. 13, 2017

Power has been restored for about two-thirds of the North Carolina homes and businesses hit by outages due to Tropical Storm Irma.

Emergency management officials say the situation is improving quickly but that 25,000 customers are still waiting for power to be restored, including a little more than a thousand in Mecklenburg County. Most of the other remaining outages are in the western part of the state.

On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper said there was no significant flooding as the remnants of the storm moved across the state. He says emergency management officials are demobilizing the state's swift water rescue teams.

Cooper told reporters at a press conference that North Carolinians shouldn't necessarily unpack their emergency kits yet.

"We are continuing to keep a close eye on Hurricane Jose," Cooper said. "It is still too soon to tell what if any impacts that we might see from that storm. But as we have seen, forecast tracks can change often and widely. So we need to remain alert here in North Carolina."

North Carolina transportation officials have sent around 200 workers to south Florida to help with downed tree removal and road cleanup, Cooper said.

The governor said the state was fortunate to miss the brunt of Irma but said it was right for the state to prepare as it did.

8 a.m. Sept. 12, 2017

Thousands of people are without electricity after the outer bands from Tropical Storm Irma swept across North Carolina.

Duke Energy reported about 60,000 customers without service early Tuesday. The biggest problems were reported in Buncombe, Mecklenburg and Jackson counties.

At least 16,000 other customers had not electricity, most in western North Carolina.

No storm deaths have been reported. No serious injuries had been reported early Tuesday. Wind gusts of nearly 50 mph (80 kph) were reported.

The Blue Ridge Parkway closed Monday afternoon because of high winds, as was Mount Mitchell State Park.

Chimney Rock State Park was also closed Monday afternoon. Officials planned to examine the park Tuesday morning in hopes of opening around 10 a.m.

Some schools were closed Tuesday and others planned to open later than usual.