Santee Cooper resumes normal business operations
Preparations and monitoring continue at Grainger ash ponds
MONCKS CORNER, S.C.—Santee Cooper has returned to normal operating conditions as of noon today, with the exception of those departments involved in mitigating potential flooding in Horry County. The utility’s retail offices in Moncks Corner and Myrtle Beach, which closed last week as Hurricane Florence approached, resumed their normal operating hours today of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Pinopolis Lock, located on Lake Moultrie and the Tailrace Canal, is also operating again on its normal schedule, opening one-half hour after dawn and closing one-half hour before dusk. The telephone number for the lock is 843-899-LOCK (5625).
There are several scattered outages along the Grand Strand, with 173 retail customers still without power, as of 11:30 a.m. Crews are continuing to work to restore all customer outages.
"Our employees have demonstrated the resilience and dedication that is their trademark, beginning with storm preparations last week and continuing until we have lights back on for every customer,” said Jim Brogdon, interim president and chief executive officer. “We appreciate the patience of customers who lost power during the storm. We are also grateful for the help of all the line and tree crews who arrived over the weekend and helped us increase the speed of repairs."
The utility is continuing preparations at the ash ponds in Conway, on the former Grainger Generating Station site and adjacent to the flooding Waccamaw River and is working with other state agencies as appropriate. Santee Cooper workers have already constructed a temporary dike around the section of Pond 1 that DHEC has certified as clean. Here are other preparations already made or underway:
- Pumping water from the Waccamaw River into the ash ponds via nearly two dozen portable pumps, so water in the ponds can balance the pressure of the rising river on the other side of the dikes.
- Staging several hundred tons of gravel already bagged in 1.5-ton sacks, which can be lifted and placed if needed to address any potential dike breach. The bags are on site.
- Securing a heavy-lift helicopter to move the sacks. The helicopter arrived yesterday and is staged at the Myrtle Beach International Airport.
- Procuring several thousand feet of floating containment boom, to be used if needed. We already have installed about 500 feet of the boom in the site’s intake canal.
- Procuring an inflatable rubber dam (Aqua Dam), which is on site and ready to be assembled if needed.
Santee Cooper will continue to monitor projections for the Waccamaw and adjust contingency planning appropriately.