CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The SC Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) reports that approximately 290,000 South Carolinians were without power following Monday morning’s severe weather. The number of outages is higher than reported in Hurricanes Florence and Dorian. SCEMD says that crews throughout the state are working to restore power, as there are still currently 101,420 outages in SC.
Representatives from the Electric Cooperatives of SC say that some restorations could take longer than usual, though. The high winds and possible tornadoes “knocked over crucial transmission lines that carry high-voltage bulk electricity to distributions systems, which require “specialized equipment to reinstall.”
Since the transmission systems are a greater source of power, they are prioritized. According to Peggy Dantzler of the State Association of Electric Cooperatives, “the main goal is to safely restore power to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible. That means the transmission systems get repaired first, then distribution lines to homes and businesses.”
Santee Cooper says that their “transmission system delivers power to the state’s 20 electric cooperatives and several city-owned utilities.” Monday’s storm broke at least 10 transmission structures and left 19 delivery points out of service. 4,500 of Santee Cooper’s customers were without power.
Crews were able to restore power to the majority of Santee Cooper’s system, but “four transmission delivery points and about 200 retail customers” are still without power.