NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Though Irene did not cause any significant damage in our area, power outages have been a big issue in New Hanover County and across eastern North Carolina.
Progress Energy said Saturday afternoon 280,000 customers in North Carolina had no electricity. As of 11 a.m. Monday, that number was down to 91,300, including 10,100 in Onslow. New Hanover County had 2,200 homes and business still in the dark. That's down from about 7,000 Sunday night. Pender County has 1,500 outages. There are still 940 Progress Energy customers without power in Columbus County and 385 in Brunswick. The power company says it is still working to get one last outage repaired in Bladen County. Earlier in the morning, Progress Energy predicted 85 percent of its customers would be back online by midnight.
North Carolina's electric cooperatives have restored power to 89,000 households. That's down from a peak of 152,000 outages Saturday.
Sylvia Williams of Wilmington had been without electricity for three days as of Sunday afternoon. She says her power went out before the brunt of Irene even came through our area. A tree behind her property fell onto a power line in the King's Grant neighborhood.
“The storm wasn't even here yet,” Williams said. “That was just the little bit of wind that we started off with.”
Crews assessed damage and made repairs to power lines throughout the day. Officials with Progress Energy say they will have a better idea of predicted restoration times by Monday.
Williams says though it has been hard without electricity, she is grateful to be surrounded by family and friends.
“My family is safe and we're together and we get to eat our dinners together because we're cooking in a little stove that god has provided for us, so yes I’m thankful,” said Williams.
Progress Energy officials stress that everyone should steer clear of any downed power lines and that also means keeping pets inside and out of harms way.