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Florence power outages near 1 million, could hit 3 million as storm unleashes fury

The number of outages is expected to keep growing as Florence slowly moves its way west and north.

Power outages from Hurricane Florence, which made landfall Friday morning in North Carolina and South Carolina, have topped 945,000 customers.

This is according to data as of 5 a.m. EST from tweets North and South Carolina emergency management agencies. 780,964 outages are in North Carolina and 165,000 are in South Carolina

The number of outages is expected to keep growing. The Weather Channel estimated that up to 3 million customers might lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence.

(A "customer" doesn't necessarily equal one person – it could include a home where several people live or a business where many people are employed.)

North Carolina Emergency Management advised residents Friday morning that "If your power goes out, do NOT operate gas powered generators or charcoal grills in or near your home."

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the U.S. electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow less than an hour after the hurricane made landfall in North Carolina, Perry said “we’ve done this many times before. We know how to manage expectations. We know how to prepare our plants for these types of major events.”

TEGNA contributed to this report.

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