UPDATE: 3:03 p.m.
Lynchburg, VA - The Virginia EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfer system has gone down across the entire area, according to customers and retailers throughout the ABC 13 Viewing area.
While many feared the outage was the result of the government shutdown, WBZ-TV in Boston has confirmed that a computer upgrade is to blame for the outage that affected many states Saturday.
Several stores, both small markets, and larger chains reported to ABC 13 that the outage occurred between 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday.
The manager of a grocery store chain in Mississippi, Mike Ford, who saw our report online, called ABC 13 to tell us his store's EBT machines are down as well. Ford says the EBT machines are operated by a company called ACS, who's website is also down, ABC 13 confirms.
ABC 13 reached out to Kroger's Mid Atlantic Offices, but no one at the corporate level was available to talk at last check. Customer service representatives were making staff aware of the situation after seeing the report on ABC 13's web page.
No notice was given to any stores, according to ABC 13 sources.
The EBT troubleshooting number, which is available to retailers in the event of technical difficulties is also off-line, and the Virginia EBT website is also down at the moment, store managers tell ABC 13.
Numerous callers into the ABC 13 newsroom report being turned away suddenly as stores scrambled to let customers know about the outage.
Stay tuned for further updates.