Power Companies Working Hard to get Restorations Made Across the Upstate

Duke Energy was still working to restore hundreds of thousands of outages across the Carolinas this morning. Duke reported having nearly half a million customers without power at the height of the outage period.

By 5 a.m., that number had been cut in half, with Duke reporting 235,303. Pickens County reported 12,143 Duke Customers without power; in Anderson County there were 5,050 and here in Oconee County there were still 6,402 of Duke’s Customers without electricity. Duke Energy said damage assessment is underway and may take up to 24 hours to complete.

The storms knocked over crucial transmission lines that carry high-voltage bulk electricity to distributions systems, according to operations officials at electric cooperatives in several regions. Near Seneca in areas served by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, transmission poles were broken off at ground level or toppled in half by the heavy winds. They fell across homes, roads and fields and took out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

At its peak, more than 130,000 electric cooperative members in S.C. were without power, and by 1:30 p.m. Thursday, that number was down to 69,000. Complicating matters is the current COVID-19 pandemic, which means crews are practicing social distancing while also doing their jobs as quickly, and safely, as possible.