Yahoo! News Photo Staff

Hurricane Florence batters the Carolinas

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U.S. Southeast power companies said over 722,000 homes and businesses located mostly in North Carolina and South Carolina were without power on Friday after Hurricane Florence hit the coast.

Florence crashed into the Carolinas on Friday with 90-mph (144 kph) winds, torrential rains and a powerful storm surge before slowing to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.

Duke Energy Corp, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million and 3 million outages. Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, it said.

Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including over 8,000 from Duke’s Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.

(Reuters)

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Rescue workers, police and fire department members wait to remove the bodies of a mother and child who were killed by a falling tree as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, N.C. Friday Sept. 14, 2018. The father was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. (Photo: Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)


A fallen tree is shown after it crashed through the home where a woman and her baby were killed in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Chuck Burton/AP)


High winds and water as Hurricane Florence hit Front Street in downtown Swansboro N.C.,Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Tom Copeland/AP)


A woman holds a baby as she watches rising flood waters on the Cape Fear River during Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)


Search and Rescue workers from New York rescue a man from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence in River Bend, North Carolina, U.S. in this September 14, 2018 handout photo. NYC Emergency Management/Handout via Reuters)


High winds and water as Hurricane Florence hit Swansboro N.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Tom Copeland/AP)


A firefighter takes a break during a rescue operation to remove a tree that fell on a house and killed two residents as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. – A mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, the first reported fatalities from Hurricane Florence, police said Friday. Wilmington police tweeted that the father was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries. Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington on Friday morning, battering the coastal city with strong winds and torrential rain. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)


The Neuse River floods the waterfront in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018 during Hurricane Florence. (Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images)


People survey the damage caused by Hurricane Florence on Front Street in downtown New Bern, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Chris Seward/AP)


Flamingos are sheltered as a part of Storm Florence preparations at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in S.C., Sept. 13, 2018. (Photo: Riverbanks Zoo And Garden/via Reuters)


Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue three children from their flooded home Sept. 14, 2018 in James City, N.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Firefighters look into a home that a large tree fell on that has three people trapped after Hurricane Florence hit the area on September 14, 2018 in Wilmington, N.C. One man was taken out in critical condition, and the condition of two others is unknown. Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington as a category 1 storm causing widespread damage and flooding along the Carolina coastline. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


Rescue personnel remove a man from a home that a large tree fell on after Hurricane Florence hit the area, on Sept. 14, 2018 in Wilmington, N.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


A mother and daughter that friends were injured in a house that a tree fell on during landfall of Hurricane Florence, in Wilmington, N.C., on Sept.14, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)


The roof of a gas station is destroyed from strong winds as Hurricane Florence passes over in Wilmington, N.C.,on Sept.14, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)


Members of the National Guard, and a FEMA search and rescue team arrive to help firefighters remove a tree that fell on a house during Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, N.C., on Sept.14, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)


Fire firefighters use a boat to rescue three people from their flooded home during the Hurricane Florence in New Bern, N.C., on Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Raffi Hovsepian, a critical care paramedic with All County Ambulance, plugs in earbuds and tries to relax Friday morning, Sept. 14, 2018, in an old Kmart in Garner used as a makeshift shelter for first responders traveling to the state from other areas to wait for assignments to help with Hurricane Florence. Hovsepian travelled with a crew of four men from Ft. Pierce, Fla. (Photo: Juli Leonard/The News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)


A tree bends from the heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)


Lane Pittman of Jacksonville, Florida, stands in the wind and rain along Ocean Boulevard during Hurricane Florence in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Randall Hill/Reuters)


This photo provided by Angie Propst, shows a boat wedged in trees during Hurricane Florence in Oriental, N.C, one of nine incorporated municipalities in Pamlico County, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Angie Propst via AP)


A person walks down a dark hallway in a hotel lobby that has lost its power as Hurricane Florence comes ashore on Wilmington, N.C., Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)


Ethan Hall, right, Michael Jenkins, center, and Nash Fralick, left, examine damage to Tidewater Brewing Co. in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday. (Photo: Chuck Burton/AP)


Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue three children from their flooded home September 14, 2018 in James City, N.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


A tree uprooted by strong winds lies across a street in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Photo: Chuck Burton/AP)


Rescue workers from Township No. 7 Fire Department and volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue a woman and her dog from their flooded home during Hurricane Florence, Sept.14, 2018 in James City, N.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Fire firefighters use a boat to rescue three people from their flooded home during the Hurricane Florence in New Bern, N.C., on Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


In this NOAA satellite handout image captured at 7:45 a.m. ET, shows Hurricane Florence as it made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., on Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: NOAA via Getty Images)


A damaged awning is seen as winds from Hurricane Florence on Sept. 14, 2018 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images)


Residents walk in flooded streets as the Neuse River floods its banks during Hurricane Florence Sept. 13, 2018 in New Bern, N.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Rescue workers from Township No. 7 Fire Department and volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team use a truck to move people rescued from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence, Sept.14, 2018 in James City, N.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Matt Stone of Surfside Beach checks out the winds on the beach during Hurricane Florence in Surfside Beach, S.C., Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Randall Hill/Reuters)


Michael Nelson floats in a boat made from a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded his street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in New Bern, N.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C.,Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Photo: Tom Copeland/AP)


Portions of a boat dock and boardwalk are destroyed by powerful wind and waves as Hurricane Florence arrives Sept. 13, 2018 in Atlantic Beach, N.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, N.C., Sept. 13, 2018. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)