Oct. 13, 2016 Hurricane Matthew update
Article was added on Thursday, October 13, 2016
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
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
"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
"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
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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