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Power outages rise to more than 230,000 as Hurricane Dorian rakes SC’s coast

Dominion operation chief stresses safety concerns

Dominion is working to restore power to about 132,000 customers. President of Electric Operations, Keller Kissam said South Carolina workers have been augmented by about 700 crews from out of state.
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Dominion is working to restore power to about 132,000 customers. President of Electric Operations, Keller Kissam said South Carolina workers have been augmented by about 700 crews from out of state.

More than 230,000 customers were without power along the South Carolina coast Thursday afternoon as Category 2 Hurricane Dorian churned in northern Charleston County slinging heavy wind and rain.

At 4:45 in the afternoon, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division put the exact number of customers without power at 233,019.

By 10 p.m., the number of outages reported was 187,479, in a review of information provided by Dominion Energy, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Santee Cooper, and Duke Energy customers in South Carolina.

In the Grand Strand, the entire town of Georgetown lost power when a transmission line went down at about 9:30 p.m., WMBF reported.

Keller Kissem, Dominion Energy’s South Carolina president of electrical operations, said that as Dorian moved north Thursday, crews had already restored power to about 3,500 customers in Beaufort County.

He said South Carolina Dominion crews, bolstered by about 700 crews from out of state, many from Florida, will begin restoring power up the South Carolina coast as the winds subside.

“We can’t (lift) our buckets ... in the air as long as the wind speed is greater than 35 miles per hour,” he said.

Bucket trucks are not approved for use in wind speeds 35 mph or greater, Coastal Electric Cooperative in Colleton County vice president Mike Hartenburg said in a news release.

“Even though it’s daylight, you can’t work in the middle of a storm,” Berkeley Electric Cooperative spokesman Micah Ponce said in a news release.

Most of the downed power lines were caused by heavy limbs falling rather than trees, he said.

Most of the outages were in the Charleston area, where more than 120,000 people had lost power by Thursday afternoon, according to outage maps.

In Dorchester County, more than 35,000 customers were without power.

In Berkeley County, there were more than 33,000 outages.

In Beaufort County, more than 15,000 were without power.

In Georgetown County there were more than 12,000 outages

▪In Horry County, more than 6,000 were without power, maps show.

Duke is sending about 450 workers from across the Carolinas, including Charlotte, to respond to the aftereffects of Dorian. The crews will stage in Florence, S.C. and deploy from there as needed.

At 10 p.m. Thursday the Category 2 hurricane was churning in the Atlantic Ocean about 40 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina. It had maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.

The hurricane is expected to bring deadly storm surge, flooding and tornadoes to the coast through Friday as it parallels the coast toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Forecasters have not predicted a potential area of landfall on the Carolinas.

Wayne White, @NMBchiefsSports, recorded this tornado passing over North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina around 7 a.m. on Sept. 5, 2019, as Hurricane Dorian battered the coast.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Dorian

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