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Duke Energy Braces for Second Hurricane Hit as Michael Nears Florida


Oct 10, 2018, by Jim Efstathiou Jr.

(Bloomberg)

Utilities are warning that lights in the Carolinas may go out for the second time in a month, thanks to Hurricane Michael.

Duke Energy Corp. said Michael may trigger outages lasting for “several days,” according to a statement Tuesday. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company issued a similar notice Monday for its 1.8 million Florida customers.

Michael is expected to make landfall Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle before sweeping across Georgia and the Carolinas. It would be the second hurricane to strike the U.S. in a month, after Hurricane Florence delivered record flooding in the Carolinas and knocked out power to about 1.5 million Duke customers.

Michael is packing winds of 120 miles (193 kilometers) per hour, making it a Category 3 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. It may dump 3-6 inches (8-15 centimeters) of rain on the Carolinas, where rivers remain swollen from Florence. Through Oct. 15, about 42 rivers across the South will either experience minor to moderate flooding, with many of those in North Carolina, according to the Southeast River Forecast Center said.

South Carolina’s Santee Cooper utility is preparing for heavier than normal rains but doesn’t expect flooding from Michael to breach coal-ash ponds that were inundated by the remnants of Hurricane Florence, said Mollie Gore, a spokeswoman.

“We’re watching it closely but we don’t expect any flooding this time,” Gore said by phone.

Scana Corp.’s utility in South Carolina has warned customers of the potential for significant power outages.

Duke Energy said utility crews would be working to address outages as soon as it’s safe to do so. Florence made landfall Sept. 14 in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm, after weakening from Category 4 status.



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