North Carolina's electric cooperative officials are monitoring Hurricane Irene, which is currently gaining strength off the Atlantic coast and has strengthened overnight to a category 3 storm.

North Carolina's electric co-ops stand ready to restore power should outages occur in the wake of Hurricane Irene's possible visit to the state.

Electric cooperative personnel have begun to double-check equipment and supplies that will allow them to restore power if Irene causes major outages in North Carolina. When severe weather causes outages, electric cooperative line crews begin working immediately to restore service in a safe and efficient manner.