UPDATE: outages across the state drop below 50 thousand

N.C. (WITN) – Thousands of Duke Energy customers in our state face power outages due to the frigid temperatures and gusty winds.

“This morning I spoke with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to offer assistance and to express urgency about the need to restore power quickly in this extreme cold while keeping customers accurately informed. I’m grateful for the workers braving the wind and cold to get the power back on.” Governor Roy Cooper said.

According to PowerOutage.US, 42,036 are still without power in North Carolina as of 5:47 p.m. Earlier at 8:45 a.m., it was reported that 465,635 were without power.

Duke Energy says its conducting rolling blackouts due to high demands for energy amid the cold weather, and areas across the state can expect to see rolling blackouts as repairs continue over the next few days, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

In a statement issued on Twitter, the company said “as extreme temps drive unusually high energy demand across the Carolinas we have begun short temporary power outages. These emergency outages are necessary to protect the energy grid against longer, more widespread outages. We appreciate your patience.”

Duke encourages all customers to stay away from downed power lines and to “consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs, or anything in contact with lines.

“This is a difficult situation for many North Carolinians who are without power, but we expect every effort to be made to restore it soon, and we continue to be grateful for the line crews who are out working in the wind and cold to get the job done,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

Duke Energy showed that over 9,000 customers in both Lenoir and Craven County were without power this morning and now 363 still don’t have power. Along with 3 of the 14,000 customers in Onslow.

Duke Energy’s outage map is showing that 136 of the 3,000 customers in the New Bern area are still reporting a loss of power due to fallen power lines caused by high winds.

The multi-state winter storm has hit the U.S. with deadly temperatures, high winds, and heavy snow.

Duke Energy customers can sign up for outage alerts on their cell phones at www.duke-energy.com/outages/alerts.