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Duke: Some could be without electricity until Thursday

Many local residents could remain in the dark for two more days, Duke Energy said this afternoon.
Duke Energy says it expects to have electricity restored to most customers in Rowan and Cabarrus counties by 11 p.m. Thursday.
As of 9 p.m., nearly 7,000 Rowan customers remained without electricity. In Cabarrus, 216 had no power, according to the company’s website.
By 4:30 today, the company had restored power to about 100,000 customers who lost electricity after storms with winds gusting up to 70 mph pounded the region this morning. At the peak of the storm, more than 256,000 customers were without power, Duke said.
“This storm has created a large number of outages across our entire Carolinas service area,” said Jim Stanley, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of power delivery. “We have all available crew members in the field and have secured more than 960 additional workers from our Midwest service area and other utilities.”
Estimated times of restoration indicate when the majority of outages in a specific area are expected to be restored, Duke Energy said. Many customers will have service restored sooner than the estimated times. There also may be scattered, isolated outages remaining beyond these times depending on individual cases.

American Red Cross Power Outage Checklist
Food safety
– Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about four hours.
– Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
– Use your nonperishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
– If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
– Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.
– If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with the food thermometer. Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.
Electrical equipment
– Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
– Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
– Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
– Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them. Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area.
– When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home’s electrical system.
– If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, such as an electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need.

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