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Nav Location: SEC Home  >   About Santee Electric  >   News and Press  >  Oct. 13, 2016 Hurricane Matthew update

 

Oct. 13, 2016 Hurricane Matthew update

Article was added on Thursday, October 13, 2016

Oct 13 update

Santee Electric Cooperative crews continue to work to restore electricity in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Crews have restored electricity to 63.47% of our members and in many areas the nature of the repair work is changing. 

"We just hit the slower part of the restoration work," said cooperative CEO Rob Ardis.

The slower repair work comes after high-voltage transmission service has been restored, and substations and main distribution lines are energized. Then, the repair work moves to individual outages or small groups of outages. Individual outages still require a full line crew and equipment and, collectively, take more time to restore large numbers of outages.

"I know it's frustrating when a homeowner has to wait for crews to repair main feeder lines before work begins on a line to his or her house," said Ardis. "But the fact is, that's the fastest way to get everyone's power restored. It won't help to fix the line to your house if there's no power coming to that line."

Ardis has welcomed the help of lineworkers from as far away as Kentucky who are on the ground across Santee Electric's service area. Across South Carolina, more than 700 lineworkers from seven states are assisting electric cooperatives.

"It's hard to imagine, but it's true: We're still finding broken poles that were not known about," said Ardis. "We've got a lot of territory to cover." Santee Electric serves more than 2,000 square miles of the Pee Dee area with 5,500 miles of power line, enough to stretch to California and back.

Statewide, more than 700 broken poles were reported by cooperatives on Wednesday, a noteworthy number because each pole takes one to two hours to replace, even longer in flooded or otherwise difficult-to-reach areas.

There are 1,136 outages in Clarendon County, 5,181 in Florence County, 4,807 in Georgetown County and 5,855 in Williamsburg County who do not have electricity. 

"The hurricane. The flooding. Clearly, the Pee Dee area has a double-shot of destruction to overcome," Ardis said. 

 


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