Electricity slowly being restored in Bladen

The lights are coming on, slowly but surely. As of Tuesday morning, power has been restored to 84.13 percent of Four County’s customers and 34.3 percent of Duke Energy customers.

Full restoration is expected by Oct. 16 for Duke Power, and Four County expects the majority of its customers to have power by Friday. Both companies stressed there may be small pockets of outages that remain into next week due to impassable roads.

“Bladen County is one of hardest hit counties in North Carolina being affected by Hurricane Matthew,” said Duke Power Communication Specialist Anne Sheffield.

Sheffield reported 430,000 outages in the Carolinas, now down to 231,000.

“Our crews are working as hard as they can,” she said. “We continue to bolster crews with resources from other states and have quadrupled resources today — we originally had 2,300 folks, and we have 9,000 this week. Some are coming from operations in other states like Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and even Florida.”

Neither company reported problems with crews getting to Bladen County, but both reported problems accessing all areas once they arrived here. Four County reported a substation in White Oak only accessible by boat.

“There are numerous places where we just have to wait for the waters to recede before we can even get in there and begin to assess the damage,” said Sheffield.

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