• 11:57 am Bladen’s Best of the Best for 2019
  • 11:35 am Updated news about Bladen County Election Investigations
  • 9:16 pm Hurricane Florence: Poverty lies in storm path in North Carolina
  • 9:04 pm NC gerrymandering: Some GOP supported redistricting reform
  • 9:01 pm This Day in History for February 17
  • 8:58 pm Public Hearing for General Swine Permit is Tuesday
  • 5:11 pm Bladen County Historical Places Desserette

By Erin Smith

Power crews from Duke Energy and Four County Electric are ramping up their preparations ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence.

On Wednesday, Duke Energy Storm Director, Howard Fowler, said the company is estimating 1 to 3 million customers will be without power following Hurricane Florence.

“This is going to be a multi-day, multi-week outage event,” said Fowler.

The company has staged 20,000 workers in various locations who are ready to respond once Hurricane Florence moves away from North and South Carolina. Those workers include 8,000 Carolina-based employees, 1,700 workers from Duke Energy’s Midwest division, 1,200 workers from Duke Energy’s Florida division and 9,400 employees from other utility companies.

“Despite our workforce, customers should continue to make plans for their homes and facilities,” said Fowler. “It’s important for people to know this is no ordinary storm and customers could be without power for a very long time — not days, but weeks.” Fowler said it will take longer for power company employees to access areas where flooding is occurring.

Billy McGavock, Vice-President of Operations for Four County, “We are continually being prepared for this storm with multiple crews from all over the US who are ready and waiting to help us restore power.”

According to their social media account, Four County Electric is preparing for “dangerous storm surge, inland flooding, and high winds, creating hazardous situations and extended power outages. This will cause down power lines, broken poles and even areas our crews will not be able to reach due to high waters.”

Four County Electric also said they have employees from other utilities, as well as contractors who are staging and ready to respond once the storm moves out of the area.

To report outages to Four County call 1-888-368-7289.

To report outages to Duke Energy call 1-800-419-6356.