About 300,000 people without power in Georgia after Matthew

- Hurricane Matthew is no longer a threat to the Georgia coast and recovery efforts are just getting started.

About 300,000 residents are without power as of 9 p.m. Saturday in coastal Georgia as Hurricane Matthew pummeled the region overnight.

Georgia Power officials say Chatham County experienced the most outages early Saturday. Other counties in the storm-struck area include Glynn, Effingham, Bulloch and Liberty.

The Georgia EMCs say the majority of thier outages are located in Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Candler, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs and Wayne Counties. 

Outages could climb through the day in the storm-struck counties of Chatham, Glynn, Camden and McIntosh, Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said. Nearly 5,000 of the utility company crew members are expected to head toward the storm-hit areas Saturday after the weather clears.

Georgia has only 100 miles of coast tucked between South Carolina and Florida, a relatively small target for direct hurricane strikes. It's also the westernmost part of the eastern seaboard, which helps explain why no major hurricane — Category 3 or greater — has made landfall on the Georgia coast since 1898.

But that doesn't mean the past 118 years have been storm-free. Hurricane David made landfall in Georgia as a Category 2 storm in 1979, following a very similar coastline-hugging path as Matthew. But David was a weaker storm and did little overall damage.

The Georgia coast last evacuated for Hurricane Floyd in 1999, but that storm took a last minute turn and came ashore in North Carolina.

Tropical Storm Hermine sent tree limbs falling and caused widespread power outages in the Savannah area barely a month ago, arriving over land after coming ashore as a hurricane on the Gulf coast of Florida.


Associated Press writer Kate Brumback and Jonathan Landrum Jr. contributed to this report from Atlanta.

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