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Santee Cooper Hurricane Matthew Update



10/08/2016


<p>Distribution Line Technician A Carson Jordan and Distribution Line Technician B Garrett Gasque replace a transformer as Hurricane Matthew passes Saturday, Oct. 8. Paul Zoeller/Santee Cooper</p>

Distribution Line Technician A Carson Jordan and Distribution Line Technician B Garrett Gasque replace a transformer as Hurricane Matthew passes Saturday, Oct. 8. Paul Zoeller/Santee Cooper

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Hurricane Matthew has delivered the biggest hit to Santee Cooper’s transmission and distribution system since Hurricane Hugo 27 years ago, and as the storm leaves the state Santee Cooper crews are beginning in earnest the assessment and restoration process.

Roughly 15 hours after Hurricane Matthew took its first hit on Santee Cooper’s transmission system, transmission crews are beginning assessment of issues across the state. Helicopter flyovers of the transmission lines will happen as soon as winds die down.

Santee Cooper’s distribution crews in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties worked through the night and early morning, before the brunt of the storm reached the Grand Strand, and they are getting back out there as Matthew’s biggest winds move out of the area.

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 30,661 customers without power across its retail territory of Horry, Georgetown and Berkeley counties. “That number would have been much larger if we hadn’t kept crews out overnight and during the day whenever conditions allowed,” said Mike Poston, vice president of retail operations. “We have restored power to about 19,400 customers since Hurricane Matthew arrived, and we will keep working around the clock until all our customers are restored.”

The damage presents 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