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Would you be ready?

August 30, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Storms and Outages

Last October’s Hurricane Matthew struck Santee Cooper’s service territory last October.

Hurricane season is in full force, but here on the East Coast, things have been pretty quiet. So far, we have been lucky.

Texas, on the other hand, stared down Hurricane Harvey last Friday night. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. Homes and businesses were destroyed, families displaced and lives were lost. It was devastating. Now, those same people are battling catastrophic flooding from rains that are predicted to last from days to weeks. 

What if a major hurricane was headed our way?  Would you be ready? 

Hurricane season doesn’t end until Dec. 1. We still have three full months to wait out the tropics. While we are waiting, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go ahead and get an emergency plan in place. Here are just a few things you may want to consider before, during and after a major storm:

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical information. Check... Continue Reading >>

Rain or shine and summertime

June 21, 2017   By Raechel Blitchington, Summer Intern in Storms and Outages
Summer in the South is characterized by long, warm days spent on the boat or beach, followed by slightly cooler summer nights that are calm and peaceful.

However, most summer dreamers seem to always forget the inevitable, torrential downpour of scattered thunderstorms that can become a routine occurrence. As a self-proclaimed lover of summer, I spend three-quarters each year dreaming about the warm and sunny summer days to come – or the ones that have just passed.

Despite having experienced 21 summer solstices, I, too, fail to forget the showers that can rain on any summer parade. Most days pose an ambiguous threat of a “30 to 60 percent chance of afternoon scattered thunderstorms.”

Also known as, maybe it will rain, maybe it won’t. When Mother Nature does decide to open the skies, dark, cumulonimbus clouds will begin to form and gather, casting a hazy shadow on what was previously a bright, sunshiny day. In the... Continue Reading >>

Portable generator safety a must for successful use

August 31, 2016   By Willard Strong in

Portable generator safety tips

All these storms forming off the coast of faraway lands, and even closer to our shores are making me quite nervous as we are now facing the heart of hurricane season.

Just the prospect of a tropical storm or hurricane lurking about can prey on your mind. It’s time to plan. One thing that appeals to many people is the purchase of a portable gasoline generator to run the refrigerator, lights and a flatscreen TV while power is being restored.

A portable generator can cost from several hundred dollars to a thousand or more. But like any internal combustion engine that burns a flammable liquid and emits potentially deadly carbon monoxide, safety is paramount. The National Safety Council offers the following safety safety tips. No. 9 is especially close to our heart at Santee Cooper.

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space or other enclosed... Continue Reading >>

Storm Ready

May 24, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Storms and Outages

A hurricane as seen from space can be a tremendously large storm system with the potential to affect millions of people who should always be prepared to keep themselves, their families and their property safe.

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1, and ends Nov. 1. Now is the time to make sure you have a plan and have prepared should a storm threaten our area.

I had only been working at Santee Cooper for about nine months when Hurricane Hugo devastated our direct service territory, which is portions of Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties.  I can still remember the confusion and chaos those first few hours after the storm. We were very fortunate that even though our entire system was down, we worked together with the help of the state’s electric cooperatives and crews from surrounding states and had all power restored across the state within two weeks.  We had emergency action plans in place, even some 27 years ago, and that helped us bring back the light that much more efficiently.

We have learned something from every storm that has come our way.  At Santee Cooper, we use that information to fine tune or even... Continue Reading >>

Elevate your heat pump

October 14, 2015   By Willard Strong in Storms and Outages

Santee Cooper recently concluded a 10-day spill at the Santee Dam. (Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

The recent flooding in the Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee and Grand Strand affected a lot of people. Some greatly, some not so great. I was lucky. While my backyard was essentially a pond for a few days, I wasn't impacted as so many were.

What happened to me was minor when contrasted to other folks. I was fretting that my relatively new, high-efficiency, Energy Star-certified heat pump would be inundated by the flooding. The ponding, the standing water, just kept getting higher and higher. Thankfully, the Tempstar unit was on a concrete slab with just enough inches of elevation to spare it from water entering the base of the unit.

I may have been stressing over this too much. I don't know how much water it could have endured before destruction set in, but I was glad I didn't have to find out. I almost began a ditching operation that would have been of questionable effectiveness to route the water away. I don't know if other homeowners had their heat pumps... Continue Reading >>