The strong thunderstorms belting the western Carolinas had knocked out power at several intersections across Charlotte, causing road delays and at some 8,800 homes and businesses throughout Mecklenburg County at 8:40 p.m.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were directing traffic where lights had gone out or were flashing at intersections near NorthLake Mall, at Albemarle Road and Interstate 485 ramp, near SouthPark Mall at Morrison Boulevard and Sharon Road and at East Arrowood Road and South Boulevard.
CMPD also had several other calls about power outages at intersections that officers were working to respond to just before 9 p.m.
The storms knocked down trees and power lines across the mountains and in the Upstate of South Carolina, and Duke Energy reported nearly 19,000 outages shortly after 9 p.m.
The largest number of outages was in Mecklenburg County. Other hard-hit counties are Anderson and Spartanburg in the S.C. Upstate, and Jackson and Swain in the N.C. mountains.
Other electric companies serving the area -- Energy United, Blue Ridge Electric, and Rutherford Electric -- reported a relatively small number of outages.
Officials from Duke Energy and other utility companies in the Carolinas say their crews are ready to respond to storm-caused power outages Wednesday evening.
Duke Energy officials offered these reminders to their customers:
-- If power goes out, call 1-800-POWERON.
-- Stay away from downed power lines, or lines that are sagging. Report downed power line to Duke Energy or your local police department.
-- If a power lines falls across a motor vehicle you’re in, stay in the car. If you must get out of the car due to some life-threatening situation, jump as far as possible, and land on both feet. Make sure no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
-- Follow storm information online at www.duke-energy.com