September 19, 2018 / 8:36 AM / 2 months ago

More than 53,000 Carolinas customers without power after Florence

FILE PHOTO: Members of the Cajun Navy transport loggers to clear power lines after Tropical Storm Florence caused a massive flooding in Whiteville, North Carolina, U.S. September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill

(Reuters) - More than 53,600 U.S. homes and businesses, mostly in North Carolina and South Carolina, were still without power on Wednesday, after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast last week, power companies said.

That was down from a peak of 1.9 million customers that lost power during the storm.

Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N), the biggest utility in the area, on Wednesday said power had been restored to 1.6 million customers out of nearly 1.7 million customers who experienced an outage during the storm. (bit.ly/2MO6JcD)

The company said it expects to restore power to most customers by Sept. 26.

Florence, which made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before it was downgraded, has already killed at least 36 people, including 27 in North Carolina and eight in South Carolina.

Rivers and waterways, swollen after Florence’s historic deluge, rose dangerously across the Carolinas, closing roads, inundating communities, hindering rescue and repair efforts and preventing evacuees from returning home.

Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Grant McCool

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