How many people in South Carolina are without power during Hurricane Florence?

View The Original Article Here

About 72,750 S.C. households were without power by mid-day Friday as Hurricane Matthew reached the Carolinas.

The bulk of those outages — some 56,000 — were in Horry County.

Just after 1 p.m. Friday, that included:

About 38,100 direct-serve customers of state-owned Santee Cooper. More than 25,300 of those customers live in North Myrtle Beach, while nearly 12,140 are in Myrtle Beach.

21,450 customers of electric cooperatives, which buy power from Santee Cooper and Duke Energy. More than 18,600 of those were Horry Electric customers in Horry County.

12,000 Duke Energy customers. Nearly 9,700 of them were in the Pee Dee counties of Florence, Marion and Dillon, just south of the North Carolina border.

About 1,200 SCE&G customers, 917 of them in Beaufort County.

Santee Cooper said Friday morning Florence had knocked out two transmission lines in northern Horry County. Those lines deliver power to Horry Electric customers as well as Santee Cooper customers.

In a news release Friday, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina explained how the Category 1 storm would affect the system.

“Wind and trees are a power-punch to overhead electric systems,” the statewide trade group wrote. “As the wind pushes over trees onto power lines, the weight puts a tremendous pull on the poles holding them up. At some point the poles — eight inches in diameter at the top — snap. Or the cross-arms, the timbers where the wires are attached, break.”

Reach Wilks at 803-771-8362. Follow him on Twitter @AveryGWilks.