Santee Electric Cooperative, Inc. would like to formally thank everyone who helped make sure members in the Georgetown area stayed cool during this past weekend's heatwave.
When SEC personnel arrived at our substation July 19 to begin efforts to restore 1,700 members' power, they were met by Palmetto Paving employees who witnessed the destructive lightning strike. The sheer force of the lightning strikes was evident by parts of the thick concrete foundation that had been blown out of the ground.
For the next 12 hours, SEC and local contract crews from Sumter Utilities worked to get the lights back on. They built a bypass around the damaged substation, built larger banks of voltage control regulators there and at a nearby substation and installed key circuit breakers to protect this and even more infrastructure from damage.
'For those of you who have electrical construction knowledge, you understand what a Herculean effort it was to complete all this in one night,' said Robert G. Ardis, SEC CEO.
This past weekend's heatwave would have been unbearable without electricity. These brave men worked all night after having already worked their regular day shift in the extreme heat.
Work didn't stop when power was restore around 6 a.m. July 20.
'We are going to build a bigger and better substation there, but in the meantime we are upgrading these temporary structures and monitoring things very closely,' Ardis said.
These efforts will also ensure SEC is well prepared for this winter's load when members rely on electric heat for warmth.
'I would like to thank our membership for their patience,' Ardis said. 'I'd also like to thank everyone who worked to make these restoration efforts possible.'