500 homes in NC and SC still have no electricity following Hurricane Matthew
Posted November 2
Updated November 3
Lumberton, N.C. — At Hurricane Matthew’s peak, Duke Energy reported 93 percent of its customers in Robeson County were without power.
Most of the power has been restored, but condemned homes or those that had power meters submerged are still without power.
Mountains of debris and tons of sand line streets hard hit by Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton. The flood water destroyed homes and knocked out power.
William Locklear said he is one of the lucky ones. The power is back on at his barber shop on 5th Street.
“That’ll be bad for a lot of people through this neighborhood. They’ve been here for years. If they have to move or whatever, it’s going to be bad,” said Locklear said.
Duke Energy has identified 32 communities in North and South Carolina that had severe flooding.
The company has about 24,000 customers in Robeson County. Some of those customers are part of about 500 homes and businesses in both states that had electric meters submerged or buildings condemned.
“The meter has been removed and those customers, those locations are basically sitting in limbo awaiting a decision on the customer on whether or not they’re going to be able to reestablish service at that location,” said Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Laybe.
Duke said businesses and residents that are not condemned can have power restored. But it's up to property owners to make sure their electrical systems have been repaired in accordance with local electrical codes.
“The issue is safety. Even if the water came up this high in the house, the outlets and stuff are waterlogged,” said electrician Rudy Harris.