Reports from Santee Cooper indicated that as of 3:30 p.m. Friday, some 38,900 Santee Cooper retail customers were without power due to early impacts from Hurricane Florence. Earlier in the afternoon outages peaked at 39,200, and crews were able to restore about 9,000 customers today before the outages increased again.
On the transmission side, three lines were locked out, impacting customers of Santee Cooper, Horry Electric Cooperative and Santee Electric Cooperative.
Santee Cooper crews have had to cease repair work because the high winds have made conditions unsafe. We cannot operate bucket trucks when sustained winds reach 35 mph or greater. Current forecasts call for tropical storm winds through Saturday late afternoon.
Repeating from 11 a.m. update: The damage from Hurricane Florence may present safety issues to residents and to line crews, especially concerning downed power lines and generators. Please remember:
- To ensure your safety and the safety of our line technicians, electric generators should be operated according to strict guidelines. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions completely. Never connect the portable generator to existing house wiring. Connect the generator directly to appliances. Operate generators outside; they emit harmful fumes and contain combustible fuel. Add fuel to the generator only when it is not running and has had time to sufficiently cool. Always properly ground the generator before operating. Refer to the owner's manual for specific instructions.
- Never touch, drive over or try to move a downed power line or anything the line is touching. The line could still be live even if it doesn't appear to be energized. Call Santee Cooper at 1-888-769-7688 to report downed power lines. Customers can also report power outages at that number or at http://stormcenter.santeecooper.com.
Santee Cooper is South Carolina's largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com.