Utilities in Florida have begun restoration efforts as Hurricane Matthew continues to move north.
The National Hurricane Service downgraded the hurricane to a Category 2 storm at 5 p.m. Friday, reporting maximum winds of 110 mph. The Center also discontinued all coastal warnings south of Volusia County, and utilities in Florida have begun restoration efforts.
Orlando Utilities Commission, the second largest utility in the state, brought in reinforcements to help with hurricane response. Line technicians and tree trimmers have been brought in from as far as Texas and Pennsylvania, the utility announced on their website.
Florida Power and Light (FPL) announced Friday morning that it is working to restore power to customers in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. American Electric Power (AEP) has sent 140 crews from its Ohio location to aid restoration efforts, NBC4i reported. 120 Kentucky Power employees and contractors also came in to help FPL, according to Lex18.
As the storm continues to move north, utilities in South Carolina and Georgia continue to prepare.
AEP-SWEPCO in Fayetteville, Ark. has deployed about 50 workers to Macon. Ga. Cleco also plans to send a team of 44 to Macon to assist in restoration efforts, according to KSLA.
However, many utilities are limited in their restoration efforts as bucket trucks are unsafe for use in wind conditions exceeding 35 mph.