Power restoration and debris clean up continues across the state

South Carolina Emergency Management Division:Source: Facebook
South Carolina Emergency Management Division:Source: Facebook

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – Counties throughout South Carolina are still transitioning to debris removal and damage assessment operations. Emergency management officials state that restoration of power, debris management, and disaster-related information and damage assessment continue to be their primary focus.

- Utility crews continue working to resolve the issues and assess the damages. Utilities report 89, 148 power outages statewide. This is down from 346,000 outages that was reported at 11 a.m. on Thursday (highest total since incident began)

The CEO of Horry Electric Cooperative calls the massive power outage 'catastrophic,' and explained crews are out diligently working to restore power.

"We started with 20 thousand without power. Now we've got a little over 300. We will continue to work as fast and as safely as we possibly can," said Pat Howle, the CEO of Horry Electric.

Howle explained the last remaining customers are the hardest to restore because of homes are harder to access or there are additional problems that need to be fixed before power can be restored.

"You've got to go house to house to fix individual problems, which is pretty time consuming. It may take as long to get these 300 on as the previous 5,000," said Howle.

- The South Carolina Emergency Management Division estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of debris statewide, based on reports by county emergency managers.

- The Salvation Army, Red Cross and Southern Baptist Convention continue to support feeding operations in Georgetown and Berkeley counties. There are 8 general population warming centers and shelters, housing 88 citizens.

- There are four DHEC special medical needs shelters that are currently operating with 18 occupants.

- The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has responded to 65 resource requests over the course of the incident. These requests include debris removal, generators, energy restoration, transportation assistance, drinking water and National Guard support. The SEOC has also submitted an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request for 20,000 additional tons of road salt.

- Today begins the first operational period under a joint incident action plan. A FEMA Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) has joined the State Emergency Response Team at the S.C. Emergency Operations Center to assist in the processing of Federal requests for assistance.

The Salvation Army, The American Red Cross and many state and local volunteer groups are helping residents directly affected by this winter storm. Contact your local organizations if you need aid.

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