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Freezing rain prep

Article was added on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

South Carolina's electric cooperatives preparing for freezing rain 

Electric cooperatives in South Carolina are monitoring a weather system that may produce icy conditions in some parts of the state. Freezing rain is forecast to begin in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday.

"We are tracking the weather and preparing for anything that comes our way," said Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.

If necessary, electric cooperatives headquartered south of Interstate 20 are prepared to send line workers north to help restore power. Co-op personnel in Georgia and Western North Carolina      are also available for assisting if needed. Though early predictions suggest minimal damage, preparations are made for a worst-case scenario for each weather event. Based on early predictions, however, ice accumulation will not be sufficient to bring down tree limbs or cause widespread power outages in the Palmetto State.

"With winter storms, we can never be too careful," said Carter. "The forecast can change quickly. We have crews in three states on stand-by. If there is an outage event, the trucks will be ready to travel as soon as it is safe Wednesday morning."

Last February, Winter Storm Pax delivered a devastating blow to South Carolina. More than 350,000 residents lost power after significant accumulations of ice downed trees and power lines. For a few of the state's electric cooperatives, Winter Storm Pax was the most damaging weather event since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. President Obama declared South Carolina a federal disaster area and the state spent more than $430 million to repair ice and snow damage.

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