BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Utility crews in Berkeley County are preparing for any possible impacts from the upcoming blast of winter weather.

“We’ve been watching this latest winter storm all week and are making necessary preparations,” said Libby Roerig, Manager of Communications for Berkeley Electric Cooperative.

Ice buildup from freezing rain, which is part of the forecast, can create power outages. So crews are in preparation mode.

“Just a little bit of ice really adds up quickly on powerlines, so what may not seem like a huge accumulation of ice versus snow, it can cause problems very quickly on our overhead lines,” said Roerig.

Crews are making sure equipment is ready to roll while being careful when it comes to COVID-19. “Covid is first and foremost in our mind these days. We have to keep our line crew safe and that’s managing everybody. who they come in contact with.”

COVID has even changed how supplies are picked up. In the past, the whole crew might stop by to get supplies together.

“With this latest variant we have gone back into some of our earlier safety measures including maybe one person on a crew goes into the warehouse to get the materials instead of the entire crew going in and we help to limit the exposure that way.”

Santee Cooper moved to OPCON 2 at 3:00 p.m. Thursday. That means a threat to Santee Cooper’s electric system is imminent. The utility provider also opened its Emergency Operations Center in Moncks Corner.

“Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, we are somewhat used to inclement weather. Whether it’s hurricanes or ice storms, our crews have a lot of experience with that type of thing,” said Roerig. “So, when things are at their worst, we’re at our best.”

If you lose power, it’s important to contact the power company so they know to send someone to repair the power lines in the area.

Here are the numbers for power companies in our area:

  • Dominion Energy: (888) 333-4465
  • Berkeley Electric Co-op: (888) 253-4232
  • Edisto Electric Co-op: (800) 433-3292
  • Santee Cooper: (888) 769-7688