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Get out on the lakes this fall


September 07, 2016   By Willard Strong in

A sailboat plies the blue waters of Lake Marion on a recent September afternoon.

The Santee Cooper Lakes, Marion and Moultrie, are South Carolina’s largest freshwater resource when you combine the acreage of the two reservoirs, which are connected by the Diversion Canal.

One thing I heard this summer, particularly during the brutal July was, “it’s just too hot to get out on the water.” Well, good-bye Tropical Storm Hermine and hello autumn! After she blew through with a little wind, lots of rain and a few scattered power outages, fall seemed to arrive a little early last Saturday morning.

Temperatures were in the low 60s around the lakes and the humidity was way down. It felt so good, warming up to the mid-80s by early afternoon. The water is still plenty warm enough for swimming, tubing or any kind of water sports. I still don’t understand how this thing they call a “noodle” is useful in any way in a lake or swimming pool. But I digress.

The secret is, the next 30 to 45 days... 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 >>

Here’s one thing your child’s teacher may have done this summer


August 03, 2016   By Willard Strong in

Teachers have some selfie fun at Santee Cooper's Energy Educators Institute this summer.

In a few weeks, the state’s public school teachers go back to work, but do you know how nearly 85 educators from across South Carolina spent the summer?

For the 31 st consecutive year, classroom teachers and administrative personnel spent a week at Santee Cooper’s Wampee Conference Center in Pinopolis, S.C.

It’s called the Energy Educators Institute , and the educators get hands-on experience by learning about the electric utility industry in general and Santee Cooper in particular.

They visited a generating station, heard presentations by energy efficiency experts, took a boat ride through the Pinopolis Lock and even went canoeing at Santee Cooper’s Old Santee Canal Park .

Santee Cooper held three institutes this summer. They began on July 5 and ended on July 22. Hands-on learning activities and unit-planning sessions are the cornerstone of the experience. The educators receive three graduate-level... Continue Reading >>

Confessions of a first-time blood donor


July 13, 2016   By Willard Strong in
Santee Cooper has always supported organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities. Among these are the United Way, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.

It’s the Red Cross that I recently began becoming more intimately involved with. For the first time in my life, I gave blood at a blood drive held at our corporate headquarters in Moncks Corner. It was a fulfilling experience. I know hospitals are always in need of this most precious commodity, what the Red Cross has succinctly termed “the gift of life.”

This time of year blood is particularly needed, as people are on vacation and preoccupied with other summer activities. I admit to being somewhat squeamish about rolling up my sleeve. No, I wasn’t afraid of the needle. I have blood drawn every six months to monitor cholesterol. My barrier was a silly one. I thought giving blood would increase the probability of getting sick and then... Continue Reading >>

A dozen things you can do this summer to enhance water quality on the Santee Cooper Lakes


May 11, 2016   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes
This month has Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer boating season. Whether you’re there for the day, the weekend or live on the water year round, there are things you can do to keep the Santee Cooper Lakes cleaner for everyone. So let’s get started.

1. Don’t litter . Keep a litter bag on your boat and at the shoreline, and use it. Don’t throw discarded fishing line or tackle overboard, or cigarette butts.

2. Properly dispose of waste from cleaning fish . It smells and is attractive to insects, vermin and other animals.

3. Don’t use the lakes as a restroom . Try to go before you go. On your boat, investing in a portable potty might not be a bad idea and can extend your hours on the water.

4. Keep your outboard motor or inboard-outboard engine tuned up . A cleaner running engine reduces the amount of emissions going into the environment.

5. Use... Continue Reading >>