In 1989, Charlotte NC was clobbered by Hurricane Hugo. Because hurricanes never track inland, 100 year old trees grew unmolested – spared from being tested by high winds. They were ripe to knock over, blocking major roads and downing power lines, some for up to three weeks.
Power companies rely on neighboring power companies to send in crews to deal with restoring service in big storms. Irma’s current track is aimed right at Charlotte. The National Weather Service estimate is for 50 MPH winds here. If this is true, presumably the storm will track up into Pennsylvania and/or New England. No power company East of the Mississippi River is going to have repair crews to lend out to Duke Energy
Since the track is so vague, at this point it doesn’t make any sense to try to outrun the storm, so for now we’ll just stay put and buy some cans of Spam and saltine crackers.
Charlotte already has gasoline supply issues because of the shutdown of the Colonial finished products pipeline because of the shutdown of refineries in Port Arthur during and after Hurricane Harvey.