Over 400,000 customers without power in Carolinas after Florence

Members of Coast Guard Shallow-Water Response team escort employees of a North Carolina electric utility to a flooded substation in order to perform maintenance on transformers in Newport, North Carolina, U.S., Sepember 16, 2018. U.S. Airman 1st Class Jacob Derry/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - More than 400,000 homes and businesses in the U.S. Southeast, mostly in North Carolina and South Carolina, were still without power on Monday after storm Florence hit over the weekend, power companies said.

That was down from a total of 1.8 million customers who had power outages since the storm made landfall on Friday.

Florence weakened to a post-tropical cyclone on Monday, continuing to produce heavy rain over parts of the Mid-Atlantic region, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory.

Duke Energy Corp DUK.N, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, has already restored more than 1.1 million of its roughly 1.4 million customers affected by the storm but said total power restoration could take weeks.

Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including over 8,000 from Duke’s Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.

Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien