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Nav Location: SEC Home  >   About Santee Electric  >   News and Press  >  Oct. 14, 2016 Hurricane Matthew update


Oct. 13, 2016 Hurricane Matthew update

Article was added on Friday, October 14, 2016

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The power of human connections

Who knew a paper bag filled with munchies could look so good? Linemen who have been working 16 hour-days for nearly a week, that's who.

Young members of Union Baptist Church in Hannah dropped off about 50 bags filled with bottled water and snacks for Santee Electric Cooperative linemen in Kingstree. The gesture touched the lineworkers' hearts.

"I could joke about it and say there's no better way to make a friend of me than to feed me," Santee lineman Will Gaymon. "But it really is a sweet thing to do. I am worn out from non-stop work, and it means a lot to know co-op members notice it."

Each of the brown paper bags came with its own artwork-a big, bold "Thank You" written with a red or green marker-and some had a drawing of a flower or house. A couple of images were a little hard to decipher, but the warm message of appreciation was obvious.

Santee Electric members have been generous all week. Members McKenzie Ward and Wyatt Morris brought chicken and dumplings to the co-op office. A spaghetti dinner arrived courtesy of the Williamsburg Hometown Chamber of Commerce. Workers washed down their meals with 80 gallons of sweet tea from the Jenkinson, Jarrett & Kellahan law firm. The firm even arranged to have the lineworkers' uniforms washed.

"How do you even begin to say an appropriate "thank you" for such unrequested and unexpected kindness," said Adrel Langley, SEC Manager of Community Relations . "Nobody likes hurricanes and the extra work they bring, but it sure helps keep these lineman's spirits up when people are so caring."

As the cooperative continues repairs, lineworkers are pushing through high waters in areas that are usually dry, as they try to reach damaged poles, wires and transformers.

About 30% of Santee Electric members were without electricity this morning. CEO Rob Ardis hopes to have most members back on by the end of the day Saturday.

"It's just very hard to predict," he said. "If I'm standing on a road and can see the status of the repair work, I can more accurately predict power restoration. But when outages are scattered over so many different scenarios at thousands of homes and businesses, all I can offer are general predictions. We're working as hard and as safely as we can."

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