Thousands still without power as crews work around the clock

Thousands still without power as crews work around the clock

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – As thousands are still in the dark following Hurricane Matthew, utility company employees are putting in long hours to get the lights turned back on.

Officials with Santee Cooper said they have staggered shifts of crews working so they can provide 24-hour service to restore power.

"We are getting as many crews here as we can because we know that's important for people to get their power," said Nicole Aiello, spokesperson for Santee Cooper. "We know it's frustrating when you don't have it, and we want everybody working on it that can."

Meanwhile, neighbors in areas like Carolina Forest are still trying to make do without power.

"We got power back for about half an hour and it went right back out, which is uncomfortable," said resident Tina Lewandowski. "We have a generator, but we had unhooked everything from it (and then) the power went back out. So now we have to wait a little bit and see if we get power."

For nearly three days, Tina Lewandowski and her family have been roughing it without power. They lost a majority of their food that was in the refrigerator and freezer.

And with many in the same predicament, Lewandowski's neighbors found creative ways to improvise.

"Luckily for us we have a hybrid car," said Cathy Baran. "(So, when) the technology did start going down we could plug it into our car and recharge it."

Baran and her husband, John, also heated up their hot tub before the storm to make sure they had hot water.

Still, the hope is to have the power on sooner rather than later.

Lewandowski said she worries about not having power when she has to go back to work.

"It's hard to get back to normal when you have nothing that you're used to," she said. No power, no electricity."

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