“With 100% of our system back up and running by 6:22 p.m. on Saturday, August 27, we were able to release two crews early this morning to join other SC co-ops already dispatched to provide assistance to sister cooperatives in VA and other locations affected by Hurricane Irene, ” says W. I. Jones, manager of operations for Horry Electric. “Our crews will be reporting to Northern Neck Electric Cooperative, which is located in Warsaw, Virginia,” he continues. “As of yesterday afternoon, they were reporting more than 15,000 of their 18,000 members were still without power.”
With the addition of the two crews from Horry Electric, as well as crews from Edisto Electric in Bamberg, there are now nearly 100 line workers from South Carolina electric cooperatives working to restore power in parts of Virginia hit hard by Hurricane Irene.
According to information released by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, crews from Aiken, Blue Ridge, Fairfield, Newberry, Santee, Marlboro and Tri-County electric cooperatives left for Virginia early Sunday morning. Besides assisting in Warsaw, they’re also helping to restore power for Southside Electric Cooperative in Crewe, Virginia.
“Our guys are reporting that, although there are significant power outages, the damage isn’t as bad as first thought,” said Todd Carter, vice president of Loss Control & Training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina Inc., the state trade association for electric cooperatives. “They hope to be finished by the weekend.”
Carter says he’ll know later today if more South Carolina electric cooperative workers could be needed in other areas of Virginia or North Carolina. “If they need us, we have more crews on stand-by to go.”
The storm caused the second-largest power outage in Virginia’s history as 2.5 million people were without electricity at one point, said Laura Southard, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.