Weather

After Irma in NC: Some RDU flights are limited; 50,000 powerless in western NC

Most, but not all, flights between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and airports in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale in Florida were canceled Tuesday, and utility workers were dealing with thousands of power outages in western counties of North Carolina.

But for Tuesday, the expected weather effects of what once was Hurricane Irma are small.

The National Weather Service posted a wind advisory for North Carolina counties in and near the mountains, but rain amounts expected both there and in the Triangle are generally less than an inch, with a little more overnight.

Duke Energy reported significant power outages in several western counties, including about 9,300 in Mecklenburg County and about 15,700 in Buncombe as the sun rose.

The state Office of Emergency Management said a total of about 76,000 customers were without power statewide, mostly in the west. By noon, Duke showed that the number of customers without power was down to about 50,000.

A Duke spokeswoman said that Tuesday would be a “damage assessment day” while crews across the company’s territory gathered information on what lines were down and put together a triage plan for repair work.

The company said that overnight wind gusts were being blamed for bringing down limbs and whole trees, especially shallow-rooted oaks, onto power lines.

Duke also showed that almost 100,000 customers were without power in South Carolina.

Irma, chewed down to a post-tropical cyclone as it moved over land since Monday morning, was headed from Alabama into western Tennessee on Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center said the weather system had sustained winds of about 25 mph with gusts to about 40 mph.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT

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