Lighting it up: Utilities chipping away at power outages - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Lighting it up: Utilities chipping away at power outages

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A little more than a day after Irma left tens of thousands in the dark, South Carolina utilities have restored power for most customers who experienced outages. (Source: WIS) A little more than a day after Irma left tens of thousands in the dark, South Carolina utilities have restored power for most customers who experienced outages. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A little more than a day after Irma left tens of thousands in the dark, South Carolina utilities have restored power for most customers who experienced outages.

SCE&G says 154,000 customers lost power as the storm swept through the state. By noon Tuesday, the lights were back on for all but about 28,000.

A majority of those customers were located in Beaufort and Charleston counties.

“Bottom line, know this,” President of Retail Operations Keller Kissam told reporters in Columbia, “We care about you as customers. We care about your safety.”

Kissam apologized to customers for the inconvenience of losing their electricity.

Near Laurens and Greene streets a couple of blocks from Five Points, Adam Weeks praised the company for quick action and what he called a “remarkable job” to repair damage behind his apartment.

Weeks was inside his building Monday when an enormous tree toppled over, slashing multiple utility lines and crushing two cars in a nearby parking lot.

“All of a sudden you could hear this kind of cracking sound,” Weeks said. “And you hear it kind of lean over and then, a boom.”

Work crews including employees from SCE&G and Sumter Utilities and a tree removal service spent hours repairing electrical lines and sawing the four-foot diameter tree into sections.

One of the power lines were active when it hit the ground Monday, scorching the grass. The state’s electric cooperatives also reported success restoring power to thousands of customers.

Over a four hour period Tuesday, the number of co-op customers without power dropped from nearly 32,000 to 20,224. Many of the outages were concentrated in the Upstate, in Oconee and Pickens counties.

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