S.C. electric co-ops prepare for Hurricane Matthew
The electric cooperatives in South Carolina are preparing out-of-state crews to travel to the Palmetto State if Hurricane Matthew causes widespread power outages. Lineworkers in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida are secured and ready to assist any electric cooperatives that might need assistance after the storm.
“Our preparations began last weekend,” said Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, the state association of electric cooperatives. “As soon as a damaging weather event becomes a possibility, we activate a long-standing, formal agreement with multiple surrounding states. We reserve repair crews and plan for them to be close to at-risk areas after a storm passes.”
In addition to securing line crews, electric cooperatives have acquired essential power supplies and equipment in advance of the storm. Cooperative Electric Energy Utility Supply, Inc. (CEE-US), the central material supplier for the state’s electric cooperatives, obtained additional stocks this week of wires, transformers and other materials needed to repair the electricity-distribution system.
If Hurricane Matthew causes significant damage, real-time outage information is available at www.ecsc.org. Outages are listed by electric cooperative and by county.
Electric cooperatives build and maintain the state's largest power-distribution system. More than 74,000 miles of co-op power lines cover 70 percent of the state — more than all the other utilities in S.C. combined.