CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The severe storms that rumbled across North Carolina and South Carolina are long gone, but their effects are lingering.
Duke Energy said about 57,000 customers in North Carolina remained without power Wednesday morning, more than 24 hours after the storms raced across the state. Gaston and Mecklenburg counties were the hardest hit.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday, more than 18,000 people were without power in Mecklenburg County and 13,000 were without power in Gaston.
"Our crews have been working hard to restore power in these challenging conditions. We got trees down, lots of poles and wires down, but our customer is on the top of their minds today as they head out there," said Betsey Conway with Duke Energy.
In South Carolina, the utility reported 6,900 outages, with more than half of them in Spartanburg County.
Duke Energy says it has called in extra crews to help restore power, but warns it likely will be Friday before electricity is restored to everyone.
In the Charlotte area, customers should expect to be without power until 11 p.m. Thursday.
Duke Energy reported 256,000 customers without power at the peak of the storm. That's the most outages since 470,000 lost power from storms in April 2007.
Power outages cause traffic delays
Drivers are urged to treat intersections as four-way stops where traffic signals are not working.
Power is still out in the Derita neighborhood in northeast Charlotte on Sugar Creek Road and Graham Street. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were directing traffic Wednesday morning at the busy intersection.
Traffic lights are also out at the following intersections:
- Sharon View Road at Carmel Road
- University City Blvd at Millbrook Road
- Pleasant Grove Road at Old Plank Road
- Windy Grove Road at Walkers Ferry Road
- Arrowood Road at I-485 OL
- Plaza Road Ext at Dulin Creek Blvd
In Salisbury, Shive Road is closed in both directions between Organ Church Road and Shuping Mill Road due to downed power lines.
Some people were stuck for hours in traffic Tuesday after traffic lines fell across Interstate 485 and Highway 51. Those lines have been repaired and the interstate and Highway 51 is now open.