Cayce, S.C. (Sept. 12, 2017) – Tropical Storm Irma moved through South Carolina on Monday, bringing high winds, rain and leaving 154,000 SCE&G customers without power. Crews immediately began restoration efforts and worked through the night to restore power to nearly 100,000 customers by Tuesday morning.
As of Tuesday afternoon, approximately 31,000 SCE&G customers remained without power, with the largest concentrations of outages in the Charleston and Beaufort areas.
At a press conference Tuesday morning, SCE&G President of Retail Operations Keller Kissam said the company anticipates restoring power to the majority of its customers within three to five days. He said customer restoration times may vary depending on the extent of damage to that area of the system.
“Sometimes it’s just a limb hanging on a line that we can remove and the power comes back on,” Kissam said. “In other situations, very large trees such as a hardwoods or a pine have fallen through the wire, pinning it to the ground. When that happens, the sheer weight of it will destroy spans in either direction. That’s more of a rebuild opportunity than a restoration opportunity, and it will take some time to make those repairs. But I can tell you that our commitment is unending. We will not stop until we have restored power to every customer who can receive service.”
Kissam noted that customers whose weatherhead has been damaged should have it repaired by a certified electrician before their power can be safely restored. A weatherhead is the shell-shaped piece of plastic or metal that shelters the utility cables running into a building, and is typically located above the roofline or attached to the gable or side of the house where wiring connects to electric lines. (Illustration of weatherhead as a part of the home’s electric system is available here: https://www.sceg.com/outages-emergencies/power-outages/restoration-process.)
Kissam said crews from as far away as Alabama, Texas, Indiana and New York have come to assist SCE&G crews. He also thanked customers for helping with restoration efforts by reporting power outages and fallen electric lines.
A replay of the press conference is available at https://www.facebook.com/scegnews/videos/1564268626970007/.
For continued updates on power restoration, follow SCE&G on Twitter at @scegnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scegnews.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 718,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 362,000 customers in 35 counties in the state.