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Hurricane Matthew restoration gains in first 24 hours



10/09/2016

<p>Crews with Trees, Inc., of Michigan, clear a fallen tree from a power line as Santee Cooper line crews repair lines after Hurricane Matthew passed Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 in Murrells Inlet. Paul Zoeller/Santee Cooper</p>

Crews with Trees, Inc., of Michigan, clear a fallen tree from a power line as Santee Cooper line crews repair lines after Hurricane Matthew passed Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 in Murrells Inlet. Paul Zoeller/Santee Cooper

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Less than 24 hours after Hurricane Matthew exited Santee Cooper’s service territory, crews have restored nearly 60,000 retail customers and begun the work to restore its transmission system.

Santee Cooper has approximately 900 people assessing and working on the lines, including line and tree crews from several states who are aiding Santee Cooper’s own crews.

Approximately 25 percent of Santee Cooper’s transmission system was impacted, and today’s efforts focused on helicopter flyovers to pinpoint damage and help guide transmission restoration. Santee Cooper’s transmission system feeds the state’s 20 electric cooperatives and several municipalities. Damage from Matthew has been exacerbated by already-saturated ground from September’s rain events.

As of 3 p.m., Santee Cooper’s distribution network has about 80,000 customers without power across its retail territory of Horry, Georgetown and Berkeley counties. “We expect to have our major distribution lines back on in the next day or two, and we appreciate our customers’ patience through this process,” said Mike Poston, vice president of retail operations. “It will likely be a week or more before we successfully bring all of our smaller lines back on. Hurricane Matthew left 137,000 Santee Cooper customers without power. Hurricane Hugo took out all of our customers, but in 1989 that was just 65,000 people.”

There continue to be safety issues to residents and to line crews, especially concerning downed power lines and generators. Please remember:

  • To ensure your safety and the safety of our line technicians, electric generators should be operated according to strict guidelines. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions completely. Never connect the portable generator to existing house wiring. Connect the generator directly to appliances. Operate generators outside; they emit harmful fumes and contain combustible fuel. Add fuel to the generator only when it is not running and has had time to sufficiently cool. Always properly ground the generator before operating. Refer to the owner's manual for specific instructions.
  • Never touch, drive over or try to move a downed power line or anything the line is touching. The line could still be live even if it doesn't appear to be energized. Call Santee Cooper at 1-888-769-7688 to report downed power lines. Customers can also report power outages at that number or at www.santeecooper.com/stormcenter.

 

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com