RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Power outages are increasing as Hurricane Matthew's center draws closer to North Carolina. As of 2 p.m., the network of electric cooperatives, which includes 26 locally owned and operated electric cooperatives from the mountains to the coast, is reporting approximately 27,500 outages. Outage numbers are expected to rise as Matthew moves closer to our state.
The cooperatives experiencing the most outages are located in the southern parts of our state and serve coastal areas, as well as areas inland. So far the most impacted counties include Brunswick, Onslow and Pender at the coast, as well as Anson, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke and Moore farther inland.
Crews, who restored Matthew's early outages, are moving into standby mode as wind speeds pick up. Their safety is a priority, and they will resume restoration work as soon as conditions allow. Because electric cooperatives are based in the communities they serve, they can begin restoration work quickly. As part of a mutual aid agreement, local crews are being assisted by 25 crews from western-based electric cooperatives and cooperatives located in Virginia.
Saturated grounds and flooding are creating an unstable environment for trees, and when coupled with Matthew's winds, falling trees are bringing down power lines. The electric cooperatives urge North Carolinians to NEVER touch a downed power line, and remember that sometimes debris can cover fallen lines, making them difficult to spot. Be vigilant.
Cooperative members are also encouraged to be vigilant of scams. Reports from South Carolina indicate that scammers are sending electronic information claiming to include power outage updates; once opened, computer viruses infect the computer. Please never open an e-mail from a contact you do not know; delete it instead.
Electric cooperative members are encouraged to charge up their cell phones and keep their co-op's outage reporting number accessible. The outage reporting phone numbers for the state's 26 electric cooperatives can be found at www.ncelectriccooperatives.com/storm/outages.htm.
North Carolina's 26 electric cooperatives collectively serve approximately 2.5 million people in 93 of the state's 100 counties. Six electric cooperatives serve 16 North Carolina beaches, and many more serve hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in other parts of eastern North Carolina.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nc-electric-cooperatives-see-outages-climb-stand-by-to-restore-outages-300341592.html
SOURCE North Carolina's Electric Cooperatives