Search for missing Santee Cooper security officer discontinued

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Tonight the search for the missing security officer at Santee Cooper,Lt. Michael Curry has been discontinued.

In a statement released tonight by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Salisbury said there has been a tremendous effort on coordination between the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement, SLED, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office and volunteers in the two day search after having divers check the turbines and the surrounding waterways along Jeffries Hydro station on Lake Moultrie.

Susan Welch is a Santee Cooper employee who has been searching for two days. “Yesterday we were on the Tail Race side in a boat all day, and today we were asked to do a foot search.”

They searched the woods on the Jefferies station property. They even hopped up on train cars to check inside. “We’re checking everything. We’re trying to leave no stone unturned… it’s very muddy. We have a lot of ditches, a lot of ponds. A lot of heavy debris we are going through. The woods are heavy.”

Susan Welch usually works in Property Management for Santee Cooper, but she volunteered to help find Michael Curry. “For me, Santee Cooper is one big family. So any time that any of us need help everybody wants to help.”

After Hurricane Matthew last year, she had a chance to spend time with Curry. “I stood at the gate with Michael for several days. He is a very nice gentleman.”

In addition to Santee Cooper employees, Berkeley County Rescue Squad, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, he Department of Natural Resources and the SLED dive team were out searching. Also today, dive teams were able to search down inside the lock at tail race Canal.

Welch says, “I hope we find him quick for the family. The family is in our thoughts and prayers.”

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