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Updated: Duke Energy estimates less than 375,000 still without power

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Updated as of 2:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10: Duke Energy's outage map reported outages had been reduced to 374,264 customers as of 2:40 this afternoon. Florence County remained the S.C. area with the largest number of outages, at more than 39,000, and Darlington County was next at just over 13,000.

Duke Energy officials estimate over 550,000 of its customers on North and South Carolina remain without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Most of those still without power are in North Carolina, according to Duke’s outage map. The largest number of outages in Duke’s S.C. territory was in Florence, as the company said more than 85,000 customers were without power as of 9 a.m. Monday. The Sumter area had more than 75,000 outages as of that time, according to the Duke map.

Seven employees with Greer Commission of Public Works left Sunday for Orangeburg to assist other utility companies with power restoration. Duke Energy reported 160,000 still without power in South Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. (Photo provided)

"Flooding, downed trees and power lines have resulted in major power outages to our region, and we have discovered more than 800 broken poles and miles of downed lines — and still counting," Duke Energy storm director Bobby Simpson said in a news release. "We appreciate our customers' patience as we work to restore outages as quickly and safely as possible.”

Officials said some of the utility's customers located in the hardest-hit counties may be without power all week as high water has prevented access and power restoration to those areas.

Duke Energy said the peak time for outages was at 8 a.m. Sunday, when 680,000 customers were without power. The company said it has restored power to more than 600,000 customers over the weekend, and 5,800 employees are working to restore the remaining outages.

"Our estimated restoration times reflect the latest time a customer's power could be restored," Simpson said. "However, as crews assess specific areas, these times may be improved."

Duke officials said they have also monitored water levels at dams located near its power plants in Lumberton, N.C., and Goldsboro, N.C. Duke said that the coal ash basins have not been affected at either location and that site inspections have been conducted by state officials at both locations.

Seven employees with the Greer Commission of Public Works were deployed to Orangeburg to assist other utility companies with outage restoration.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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