Columbia, S.C., January 26, 2004 - Winter ice storms can be some of the most troubling storm systems for utilities. As freezing temperatures convert rain into ice, trees and their limbs will often bend and break from the additional weight, falling on ice-covered lines and causing power outages. Weather conditions are expected to worsen this afternoon, and SCE&G offers the following guidelines for customers to use in preparation for potential outages, as well as their safety during a storm:
- Have flashlights, fresh batteries and blankets on hand.
- If you see a downed power line, do not touch it. Stay away from it and keep others away. Contact your local SCE&G office immediately.
- Do not touch tree limbs or other objects touching a power line. Never try to remove a tree limb or any object that is in contact with a power line. Call SCE&G immediately for help.
- Do not attempt to tie generators into the house circuit. This can be dangerous to you, your neighbors and to our linemen. Plug appliances directly into the generator. Supplemental heaters and generators designed for home use should be used with extreme caution, paying close attention to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Should the power go out while you are cooking dinner, remember to cut the stove off and remove any cookware from the cooking surfaced and oven.
- Don't open refrigerators or freezers during an outage unless absolutely necessary. Repeated openings cause the cold air to escape and food to thaw more quickly.
- It's hard to resist the urge to supplement your heating system if a power outage shuts it down, but in reality household items such as cooking stoves or ovens and outdoor grills should never be used for heat. If you use a fireplace for heat, be sure to extinguish any flames before going to bed. Candles also should be extinguished.
If an outage occurs, customers should call SCE&G's outage reporting system at
(888) 333-4465. The faster SCE&G receives your outagereport, the faster we can assess the problem area and restore power to your home.
Customers can simply enter their phone number and the automated system will confirm the address of the outage and automatically report the outage. To properly use the system, a customer's correct telephone number must be listed on their SCE&G account.