NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The numbers of people without power in southeastern North Carolina continues to decrease.
Progress Energy sent out a notice Monday that night that it hopes to have power back for 85 percent of its North Carolina customers Monday and 99 percent by Wednesday. As of the last notice, 2,600 people are still without electricity in New Hanover County after Hurricane Irene barreled through the area Saturday morning.
According to Progress Energy, damage assessment was impeded by Irene's strong winds, which continued into Saturday night in coastal areas and the coastal plain.
Restoration efforts have been hampered by severe flooding in many areas, and by the number of trees on power lines. In many remote and low-lying areas, crews have used helicopters, boats and tracked vehicles to assess and access damage.
The hardest hit areas of the state, including Zebulon, Selma, Spring Hope, New Bern, Jacksonville, Morehead City and Kinston, may not have power back on until Thursday.
About 94,000 of the PE customers remained without electricity across the state as of Monday morning.
Pender County has 2,094 people without electricity. Columbus County has about 3,300 customer without power in the east end of the county, according to Deputy Director Kay Worley.
Progress Energy tripled its crews in anticipation of the storm.
Customers who experience an outage during the storm should call the automated outage-reporting system at 1-800-419-6356. Customers can also report outages online at:
According to Brunswick Electric's online outage map, a handful of customers remained without power.
To report an outage, call 1-800-682-5309.
Four County Electric is reporting about 800 customers without power as of Sunday morning.
Crews will work to restore service to members as quickly as possible. Please report outages to 1-888-368-7289.
People should treat power lines lying on the ground as if they are energized. Also, stay away from trees or branches that are touching power lines. If you see a downed line, call your electric utility or 911.
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