CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands of North Carolinians have no electricity as a winter storm continues to drop snow, sleet and freezing rain on the state.

The major utilities in North Carolina reported more than 83,000 people without service early Thursday.

Duke Energy reported nearly 7,000 customers without service in western North Carolina.

Problems were much worse in the areas previously serviced by Progress Energy. More than 70,000 customers had no service Thursday morning. The worst problems were in the Raleigh and Wilmington areas.

Dominion Power reported only minor problems in northeastern North Carolina, with fewer than 300 customers without service.

Weather conditions were not expected to improve significantly until Friday.

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