CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hurricane Michael is out of the Charlotte area but the cleanup is just getting underway after periods of heavy rain and strong winds battered the Carolinas Thursday.
North Carolina Emergency Management reported over 365,000 power outages as of 3:30 p.m. Friday. The majority of those outages were in Alamance, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Rockingham and Wake counties . Duke Energy reported more than 14,000 power outages in Mecklenburg County alone as of 11 p.m. Friday.
Gov. Roy Cooper said that more than 70 roads are still closed due to Florence last month. Tropical Storm Michael has forced the closure of more than 350 roads, including 32 primary roads, mostly due to downed trees and power lines. NC Highway Patrol officials said troopers have responded to more than 1,000 crashes across the state related to Michael.
In the Charlotte viewing area, one storm-related death was reported in Iredell County where a tree fell on a car. Two people were also killed in McDowell County, N.C. when their car hit a large tree in the road. Officials said five deaths were reported in Virginia, four in Florida, and one in Georgia.
Of the 316 road closures across Mecklenburg County, 81 calls were made to CMPD for accidents, 250 calls to Charlotte Fire, city engineers responded to 153 calls of downed trees.
Cooper issued a state of emergency for North Carolina ahead of the powerful storm. Cooper said the last thing residents need, who are still trying to recover from Florence, is another hurricane. Gov. Cooper said many areas in North Carolina are still very weak following last month's storm.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said Michael would be nothing like Florence for the Palmetto state, but people should still be prepared. McMaster also extended the existing state of emergency for S.C. (due to Florence) on Wednesday.
The storm made landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a historic Category 4 storm. The National Hurricane Center reported Michael had maximum sustained wind speeds of 155 mph moments before it hit the shore.
How rare is a Category 4 hurricane in the panhandle? Well, actually, it's the first time ever.
"It's never happened before in 167 years of keeping records, there's never been a Category 4 storm to make landfall in the panhandle," said TODAY show forecaster Al Roker.