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Duke officials continue preparations for Matthew

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Duke Energy crews continue to make preparations as Hurricane Matthew moves up the East Coast.

Duke officials said they have mobilized personnel and have completed aerial inspections of main transmission likes in North and South Carolina to check for any trees impeding those lines, according to a news release.

"We’ve stocked our trucks and warehouses, completed our readiness plans based on Matthew’s projected path, and coordinated with local, state and national emergency personnel to ensure we have the most optimized response,” said Bobby Simpson, Duke Energy’s Carolinas storm director, in the release. “You can’t beat the forces of nature, but we will do everything we can to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”

Officials said they have identified flood zones and worked with employees to determine alternate routes around those potential high flood areas. The company said more than 2,300 line workers are on stand-by to travel to communities where damage and outages may happen. According to the release, Duke response crews will start work after the storm has moved out of the area and wind speeds have diminished.

In addition, Duke said residents should have an emergency kit prepared in the event of power loss. That kit should include:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Portable radio with fresh batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration
  • Several days' supply of drinking water
  • Portable (and fully charged) cell phone charger
  • Prescription medication

Duke said to make sure cell phones are charged before the storm impacts the area. The company also offers a service providing registered customers with information about power outages, restoration times, cause of outage and crew status. Customers sign up to receive power outage alerts from Duke Energy by texting REG to 57801 or choose from text, email or phone alerts by enrolling here.

Video of Duke Energy crews inspecting lines in coastal North Carolina:


Civil Air Patrol changing mission ahead of Matthew

The South Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol is moving from aerial monitoring to post-strike planning. This includes elements of the Greenville squadron of the wing.

According to a news release, the CAP performed aerial monitoring of I-26 lanes and evacuation routes from Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Hilton Head to the Midlands.

Volunteers with the wing are also volunteering at the S.C. Department of Public Safety’s Air Operations branch in Blythewood.

“I’m very pleased with how our volunteer Airmen have responded to the approach of Hurricane Matthew,” said Col. Francis Smith, commander of the S.C. wing, in the release. “Our main priority during this phase is to provide assistance to state emergency management teams as they work to get our citizens to safety.”

CAP Emergency Services personnel are planning for any post-strike taskings, likely to commence on Sunday if needed. Possible taskings include impact assessment flights, communications support, search and rescue and continued support of the Air Operations Branch.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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