(Reuters) – More than 1 million homes and businesses on the U.S. East Coast were without power on Friday after Hurricane Michael and its remnants moved from Florida to Virginia, according to local power companies.
Kegs of beer rest among the debris blocking U.S.Highway 98 in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael at Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S., October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Nesius
Some customers in the hardest hit parts of Florida may have to wait weeks for power to be restored, the utilities said.
In total, Michael caused over 2.6 million outages since hitting the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour).
Southern Co’s Gulf Power unit said it could take weeks to restore power in the hardest hit parts of Florida like the Panama City area. In Georgia, Southern’s Georgia Power unit said it expected to restore service to most customers over the next couple of days with those in the hardest hit areas by Oct. 16.
Duke Energy Corp said its roughly 6,000 workers have restored power to more than half of the estimated 670,000 customers who lost power in the Carolinas. The company, however, said some outages in the hardest hit areas could take several days to repair.
Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru and Scott DiSavino in New York