RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Department of Emergency Management said an estimated total of 147,000 were without power across the state as of early Saturday afternoon. The hardest hit were Wake County with more than 50,000 outages, followed by Johnston, Harnett and Nash counties.
According to the Duke Energy website, there were thousands of the company’s customers around central North Carolina without power.
Anyone who needs to report a Duke Energy is asked to call 1-800-POWERON or (800) 419-6356.
As of 1 p.m., more than 110,000 Duke Energy customers were without power in North Carolina. Of those, 48,000 are located in Wake County and 25,000 are in Johnston County.
Any customers having trouble getting through when calling 1-800-POWERON is asked to report by text or online.
Also, the North Carolina network of electric cooperatives reported 8,800 outages as of 12:15 p.m. That number is down from a peak of 25,000 outages. The 12,000-plus outages were mostly in the Sandhills.
The stress on power lines had an impact on drivers, too. Downed power lines in Johnston County shut down I-40 in both directions as of 5:30 p.m. DOT said the roadway reopened after 9 p.m.
Wake County has opened emergency shelter for people affected by the storm. The shelter is at Sanderson High School at 5500 Dixon Drive in Raleigh.
Two more people have died as a result of traffic accidents caused by the winter storm, Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday, as North Carolina hunkered down as a frigid winter storm swept across the state.
McCrory said one person died as a result of an accident on I-95. He said the other died as a result of an accident Wednesday.
He said one problem was that people from Virginia, who are seeing heavy snows, were getting into North Carolina on roads like I-95 and assuming the roads were safe.
“Part of I-95 are very dangerous when you come into North Carolina,” McCrory said. “The roads are not safe. And that is a great concern.”
But overall, McCrory said, people in the state have been staying off the roads.
“I want to thank the people of North Carolina for following the lead and staying off the roads in most cases and taking care of their families,” McCrory said.
The state’s Department of Transportation trucks were constantly out on the roads, trying to keep paths clear. There were about 70 DOT workers on the roads around 6 p.m. in Wake County. They were putting salt on the roads and would also use their blades to clear slushy roads.
The problem, Britt McCurry of the DOT said, is the constant precipitation meant that DOT’s efforts were often nullified because “it doesn’t take very long for it to accumulate again.”
On Thursday, McCrory declared a state of emergency for the State of North Carolina ahead of Friday’s storm.
Six people were killed overnight Wednesday into Thursday in traffic crashes.
In Raleigh, a few people were out shopping for food and groceries at the Food Lion on Lake Boone Trail.
“Got the normal items, chips and pizza,” said Michael Parrish. “I have two boys so you know that’s what they want, so trying to keep him comfortable at the same time.”
And Jackie Martinez said she just plans to stay in during the storm.
“We’re going to stay home with our blankets and going to stay in our bed and just watch Netflix and just hope that the wifi doesn’t go out,” Martinez said.
“That’s the important thing in all this. The wifi and the Netflix.”