Fewer than 2,500 Duke Energy customers who lost power in a storm Friday that knocked out electricity to nearly 350,000 customers were still without power at 5 p.m. Monday.
About half of them were in Wilkes County, where more than 600 crew members were working.
Duke’s website showed more than 6,000 Charlotte customers without power at 6 p.m. Monday, although few of them were still affected by Friday’s storm. More thunderstorms swept through the city Monday afternoon.
More than 400 workers from other utilities, including those in Virginia and Tennessee, joined about 600 Duke workers to make repairs over the weekend and are still working, Duke said.
“It was a very long and very hot weekend for our customers who lost power,” said Duke Energy senior vice president John Smith. “We greatly appreciate their patience and their kindness to our repair crews, who have been working long hours to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”
Crews were sent to make repairs in more than 4,300 locations scattered across the Carolinas, instead of many outages being grouped in a few locations, said spokeswoman Meghan Musgrave Miles.
“That has taken time, and that, paired with the significant damage, has extended the repair time for some customers,” Miles said.
The utility expects to have all storm-related repairs complete by 11:45 p.m. Monday. Some outages might last longer due to damaged equipment such as meter boxes, Duke said.
More than 50,000 Mecklenburg County residents were without power at the height of the storm, Duke said.
Across North Carolina, 3,271 customers were waiting for service to be restored, and 1,198 in South Carolina. Service was expected to be restored to most locations by mid-afternoon Monday, according to Duke’s website.
Friday night’s storm packed near hurricane-force winds of nearly 70 mph, blew trees and branches onto power lines and knocked down utility poles. Hardest-hit counties were Mecklenburg, Gaston, Forsyth, Wilkes, Macon and Jackson in North Carolina, and Spartanburg in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, some Charlotte residents are still without cable and Internet following the storm, and the area’s largest provider isn’t saying when service will be restored to all customers.
It isn’t clear how many Time Warner Cable customers are still without service. The company, which was acquired by Charter Communications in May, has been telling customers its engineers are still working to restore services in some areas.
Restoration happens quickly as power is restored, the company said, and there are “lots of variables” affecting where customers may have lost power but not service, and vice versa. In many instances, the provider added, they follow the power company into a neighborhood as soon as power is restored in order to restore service quickly.
For AT&T customers, service was restored Saturday. Technicians worked “around the clock” to resolve the issue and make sure service is running normally, spokesman Josh Gelinas told the Observer.