Update: By the afternoon Duke Progress reported outages in its coverage area had been reduced to about 122,000 households.
More than 162,000 households were without power across Duke Progress’ service area on Tuesday morning, most of them concentrated in the western areas of the Carolinas around the Sylva area of North Carolina and Easley, South Carolina.
Tuesday morning Irma, now downgraded to a tropical depression, was crossing into Alabama from Georgia, and was expected to enter Tennessee Tuesday evening before fizzling out Wednesday morning.
Gov. Roy Cooper, on Monday, reminded North Carolinians to remain ready and aware as the state began to feel rain and winds from the storm.
Cooper assured that National Guard soldiers, State Highway Patrol troopers and rescue teams were staged and ready to go if needed.
“We’re grateful that the brunt of the storm will miss us, but our entire state will see some impacts from Irma and especially Western North Carolina,” Cooper said. “Things are looking better for North Carolina, but we’re not out of the woods yet and we don’t want any surprises.”
National Guard soldiers and equipment were staged in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville to support storm response activities such as cleanup, shelter operations and supply delivery, if necessary.
Emergency management teams and the Red Cross also opened five shelters in Gaston, Guilford, Henderson, Johnston and Mecklenburg counties to help those evacuating from other states.
The shelters are located just off of major interstates, and all accept pets.
To find out more about these shelters visit ReadyNC.org or call 211 for more information.
The latest forecasts for the state call for rain and high winds possible across the state.
In the Triangle wind speed of 10-20 mph were forecasted with similar wind speeds in the Charlotte area.
The short time in which the rain falls could lead to flash flooding but for the most part Tuesday will be just like any other rainy day for much of the state not dealing with power outages.
“Our thoughts are with those who have felt the direct impact of this storm, and North Carolina stands ready to provide support as needed,” Gov. Cooper said.
NC National Guard Serve in Florida
According to Cooper, North Carolina National Guard personnel have already provided assistance in Florida, evacuating a nursing home in the Florida Keys prior to Irma’s landfall there and delivering equipment and personnel to the U.S. Virgin Islands after it took a direct hit from the storm.