Cayce, S.C. (Oct. 19, 2016) – South Carolina Electric & Gas has completed restoration to customers impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, Matthew made landfall southeast of McClellanville, S.C. as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds and heavy rain. More than 290,000 outages were reported at the peak of the storm, which occurred at 2 p.m. Oct. 8. Hardest hit by the high winds were SCE&G customers in the coastal counties of Charleston, Beaufort, Dorchester and Colleton as well as Richland County in the Midlands.
SCE&G crews worked day and night until service was restored to all customers who lost power during the storm. More than 2,000 employees and 1,000 off-system crew members, some from as far away as Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kentucky, helped with storm restoration efforts.* Restoration was completed on Oct. 16.
“About 72 hours after Hurricane Matthew left our state, we had safely restored power to a quarter of a million customers,” said Keller Kissam, president of retail operations for SCE&G. “We are grateful to our customers who waited patiently for their power. We worked around the clock to get their homes and lives back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.”
Four days after the storm, SCE&G had restored power to 90 percent of affected customers, but work continued in locations hardest hit including the Beaufort and Bluffton areas as well as island communities such as Lady’s Island, St. Helena Island, Harbor Island, Hunting Island, Fripp Island, Daufuskie Island and others. On Friday, Oct. 14, the company had one lineman working for every three customers in these areas without power.
“Field personnel and support staff continued to work tirelessly until all of our customers were restored,” said Bill Turner, vice president of electric operations. “They were determined to keep pace until every customer that lost power because of the storm was back on.”
Today, the work continues to reconnect electric services damaged in the storm and assess all aspects of the restoration effort to learn and grow in order to be more efficient and effective for the next storm.
As part of its commitment to serving the people of South Carolina, SCE&G is also helping its neighbors through charitable donations. Monday, SCE&G announced a $200,000 donation to Gov. Nikki Haley’s One SC Fund to provide relief to South Carolinians affected by last year’s flood and by Hurricane Matthew. The company also has made $50,000 donations to both the American Red Cross and to Trident United Way.
Funds for donations are provided through SCANA shareholders.
“When you look at the donations of a company like SCE&G that’s thinking past just getting the power back on, but actually thinking about getting people back into safe homes, and when you look at what neighbors are doing to help each other, whether they know each other or not, this is one South Carolina,” Haley said during the Oct. 17 press conference.
Trident United Way will use SCE&G’s $50,000 donation to provide relief to Lowcountry residents affected by the hurricane. “Just as our crews worked to restore power to the thousands of customers impacted by Hurricane Matthew, Trident United Way works constantly to connect volunteers and resources where they’re needed most in the community,” said Turner. “We’re proud to support their efforts to help with hurricane recovery efforts and support our local neighbors in need.”
The company’s $50,000 contribution to the American Red Cross will help the organization’s Palmetto SC Region deliver vital emergency supplies and services to storm-impacted areas throughout SCE&G’s service territory. It will also be used for ongoing relief efforts associated with the historic floods of 2015, which displaced thousands of South Carolina residents.
"We are so grateful for the assistance of businesses like SCE&G, that quickly offered financial support for the massive relief operation to help communities affected by Hurricane Matthew across South Carolina," said Louise Welch Williams, Regional CEO for Palmetto South Carolina. "All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible through the generosity of businesses like SCE&G."
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 706,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 352,000 customers in 38 counties in the state.
SCE&G extends appreciation to the following investor-owned utilities and off-system and on-system contract crews for their help during the Hurricane Matthew restoration effort. These dedicated crews came to assist the people of South Carolina when their help was most needed restoring power to SCE&G customers safely and efficiently.