Inland residents wonder when their power will be back on - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Inland residents wonder when their power will be back on

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry Electric Cooperative reports there are still more than 14,000 customers without power.

"We were left with a mess in Horry County," said Penelope Hinson, the spokesperson with HEC. "At the end of the storm, we had 93 percent of our system down. The process to restoring power is that you have to start from the sub-stations and then you have to go circuit by circuit, to the end of the line."

Hinson says crews have been out in full force since Hurricane Matthew. However, workers have not been working around the clock.

"There is a safety issue with working crews, in fact there's a regulation. It's 16 on, eight hours resting. We do have crews that run overnight that will take care of emergencies, but it's a dangerous job during the day. It is treacherous at night."

Hinson says most HEC crews service rural areas out in the country and that just because you may not see them, doesn't mean they aren't there. Reporter Josh Roberson went to those areas and talked with some customers who have been without power since Saturday.

"This has been the longest time. But then this has been a lot more damage than Hugo. We didn't have this kind of damage in 89 with Hugo come through." said Kenny Altman.

Altman and Mickey Vaughn are next door neighbors, using generators and storing water. Altman says while it's frustrating to go this long without power, he doesn't expect miracles.

"You take it for granted." said Altman. "Compared to what I've seen with trees down. We're blessed. We're blessed. It could have been a lot worse than what it was."

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