Crews make steady progress getting power back in Myrtle Beach area, statewide

02/15/2014 5:36 PM

02/15/2014 5:37 PM

Power crews, which have been working around the clock across the state since last week’s ice storm, began to close in on returning power to all residents.

Santee Cooper expected all those served by the utility to have power restored by 10 p.m. Saturday after doubling crews with help from contractors from Tennessee and North Carolina, the company said via Tweet on Saturday.

The numbers of Horry Electric Cooperative customers without power also continued to dwindle, with about 900 still without power Saturday evening.

Across the state, crews also continued to make steady progress getting the lights back on after the worst winter storm in a decade, although tens of thousands remain without power.

The latest reports from power companies show about 125,000 customers statewide were without power at midday Saturday. That's down from 225,000 about noon Friday.

The heaviest outages were in the Aiken area where officials warn it could still be several days before everyone has power.

The state's 20 electric cooperatives, serving mostly rural areas, had 74,000 customers without power Saturday. South Carolina Electric & Gas reported about 50,000 customers out. SCE&G has brought in nearly 700 workers from out of state to help its 1,200 crew members restore power.

Gov. Nikki Haley, speaking at a news conference in Aiken on Friday, praised the power line workers.

”The linemen across this state have angel’s wings,” she said.

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