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Showing posts by author Willard Strong  Show all posts >

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 >>

Follow the Energy Star to savings!

April 28, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use


When you go shopping for a major appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, washer or TV, or an even bigger purchase such as a heat pump, do you take the extra step to make sure they’re Energy Star qualified?

If you do, you’re among the millions of people who have embraced this federal program instituted in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star-qualified appliances use electricity more efficiently, saving you money on your power bill. Even if the Energy Star product costs a little more up front, it will typically pay for itself over time, often with dramatic results. Check out

Energy Star has an impressive track record. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, from the time Energy Star came on the national scene, “...families and businesses have realized savings of more than $362 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over... Continue Reading >>

Festivals and fish lifts in Santee Cooper Country

March 30, 2016   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes

Springtime means more festivals (and fishing) around the Santee Cooper Lakes. (Photo by Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

Ahh, spring. It's a great time to get out and enjoy the many festivals found in Santee Cooper Country.

You have your chance this weekend when the 25th annual St. Stephen Catfish Festival gets underway on April 1-3. Santee Cooper provides electrical service to St. Stephen, and the Catfish Festival is a Green Power event , meaning all the festival's power needs will be served by renewable energy from landfill gas generation, solar power and wind power.

Festival organizer Johnny Broome says this year's event features local entertainment, door prizes and "even helicopter rides along with our amusement rides." The festival is held at Alice Park, and it opens Friday at 4 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. the Nu Attitude band takes the festival's main stage.

On Saturday, the festival opens at 9 a.m. with puppets, dancers, a Michael Jackson tribute at 4 p.m. and the catfish stew judging. Catfish stew will be sold beginning at 5:20 p.m.... Continue Reading >>

74 years of generating electricity

February 17, 2016   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper History
Santee Cooper is observing a historical milestone this week: the 74th anniversary of generating our first electricity, which occurred at Unit 2, a hydroelectric turbine, on Feb. 17, 1942, at what was then known as the Pinopolis Power Plant.

The dream of the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project had been realized.

Early 1942 was an uncertain time in our nervous nation. The U.S. had entered World War II only a few months prior, following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941. The two lakes, then known as the Santee Reservoir and the Pinopolis Reservoir, had begun filling up on Nov. 12, 1941, only a few weeks before war was declared on Japan and Germany.

Formally entering the fight against the Axis powers is a part of Santee Cooper’s history. That first flow of power went to a defense contractor in North Charleston: the Pittsburgh Metallurgical Co., located on the banks of the Cooper River. They made... Continue Reading >>