(Reuters) - Almost 850,000 homes and businesses in the U.S. Southeast were without power on Thursday, according to local power companies, as the remnants of Hurricane Michael headed northeast over the Carolinas after battering the Florida Panhandle.
That is down from more than 963,000 customers affected by Michael, as utilities in Florida and Alabama restored service while the number of outages continue to grow in the Carolinas and Virginia as the storm moved northeast.
Michael, the third most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. mainland, weakened into a tropical storm over South Carolina. It made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour(249 kph).
(Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Sumita Layek in Bengaluru and Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Jason Neely, Jeffrey Benkoe and Bill Berkrot)