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Showing posts by author Willard Strong  Show all posts >

Don’t be a hurricane statistic


September 13, 2017   By Willard Strong in Safety

A portable generator can come in handy in the aftermath of severe weather, but remember to follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe use.

Another weather event has come and gone and with it, the humanitarian toll that a hurricane or tropical storm typically brings.

Sadly, there are fatalities with bad weather. We should all learn how to stay safe when it comes to storms and preparing for them.

Generator Safety: One man died when a gasoline-powered generator was being operated in a garage, apparently with the door closed. A man died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never, ever operate a generator, lawn mower, automobile or any internal combustion engine in an enclosed area. Even with the garage door open, one can be overcome by fumes.

A lot of generators were sold leading up to Irma. Undoubtedly, many buyers had no experience with generators. It’s very important to read the manual and think safety when using a generator. For example, be careful when fueling them. Do it outside, away from your house, and keep gasoline away from an open flame, including cigarettes or a gas, or... Continue Reading >>

Be safe. It’s boating season on the Santee Cooper Lakes


June 07, 2017   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes

Under S.C. law, a child 12 years old or younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device while boating



If you live around lakes Moultrie or Marion, or close by, the lure of the lakes is almost unavoidable. Just about everyone it seems, owns some type of watercraft, from 10-foot-long johnboats to V-8 powered inboard/outboards with that unmistakable rumble.

Safe boating is important and the old highway adage, “Watch out for the other guy,” certainly applies to our waterways, particularly this time of year. There have already been too many boating accidents in 2017 on South Carolina’s lakes and rivers.

While Santee Cooper manages our lakes, law enforcement is largely the domain of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and county sheriff’s departments. SCDNR was out in full force during the long Memorial Day weekend, even offering “courtesy safety checks” at boat landings. Even though your boat may pass a safety check, it might be a good time to ask yourself the following:

Is it... Continue Reading >>

Monster catfish caught in Lake Moultrie


April 12, 2017   By Willard Strong in

At Hill’s Landing on the Diversion Canal in Cross, Paula Haney of Anderson shows her record 113 pound, 8 ounce Arkansas blue catfish caught in Lake Moultrie on April 1, 2017.

It’s spring in Santee Cooper Country, the five counties that touch the shores of lakes Marion and Moultrie.

If not already boats and motors and personal watercraft are being cleaned up and tuned up for the boating season that for many, extends now through October.

Fishing is in full swing, with bream, crappie, largemouth bass, striped bass and the Arkansas blue catfish now being ardently pursued by anglers far and wide. Speaking of the “big blues” found in the lakes, another monster fish was caught this month.

On April 1, Paula Haney of Anderson and her husband, Steve, were fishing in Lake Moultrie. She caught a 113 pound, 8 ounce Arkansas blue that has been certified as a new state record by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. It bested the 109 pound, 4 ounce cat caught in 1991 on the Tailrace Canal below Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station.

It’s no secret that catfish angling... Continue Reading >>

How's the health of your home's electrical system?


February 08, 2017   By Willard Strong in Safety

Upgrading the breaker box could avoid a costly fire in your home.

There’s a nonprofit organization, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFI) that keeps statistics on home electrical fires. Who knew, right?

USFI estimates that there are about 51,000 home electrical fires every year, resulting in approximately 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries and $1.1 billion in property damage. That’s pretty sobering.

Sure, something such as a lightning strike can cause a fire but so many of these tragic losses are preventable, if homeowners would only do a few things to make their homes safer.

For example, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that electrical receptacles are a factor in 5,300 fires annually. Problems with 110-115 volt “outlets” as we commonly call them, are likely less of a factor if you own a newer home. More on that later.

If you have an older home, you’re probably more at risk for having an outdated electrical system overall with insufficient amperage,... Continue Reading >>

Had “sticker shock” on your latest power bill?


January 18, 2017   By Willard Strong in Energy Matters
If you haven’t already, you’re probably going to have a little “sticker shock” when you get your electric bill.

Last Monday morning, Jan. 9, the outside thermometer at my house read 19 degrees F. For us warm-blooded Southerners, that’s really chilly by our “norms.” Later in the week and by last weekend, we set highs in the upper 70s, so thankfully the cold snap didn’t last very long. This will likely help on your bill’s bottom line, as the warmup continued this week.

Still, with holiday bills rolling in, more money for electricity was not likely part of your New Year’s expectation. I’ve said it for many years: People are used to paying a certain amount within a certain range for power, and if it deviates from that, all of us, even those of who work in the industry, feel a little righteous indignation from that norm.

It’s a pretty natural human reaction to feel that... Continue Reading >>