Storm recovery making headway

February 17, 2014 

A seventh death statewide was attributed Monday to last week’s winter storm as more homes regained power.

Meanwhile, a few shelters for warmth and more remain open in the Lowcountry, which was hard hit by ice. Meals also continue to be delivered in those areas.

Here are the highlights:

• Authorities say a 92-year-old Marion woman died from exposure to the cold. Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson said relatives found Margaret Brown dead in her home Friday and an autopsy confirmed she died from hypothermia.

• Utilities across South Carolina are reporting about 23,000 customers are still without power nearly a week after a crippling ice storm. About 55,000 customers were without power when Monday started, while 350,000 customers lost power at the peak of the storm. Most of the outages are with six of the state's 20 electric cooperatives, which serve mostly rural areas.

South Carolina Electric & Gas reported 5,000 outages and Duke Energy has power back for nearly every one of its customers.

Most of the remaining outages are in Aiken, Berkeley, Clarendon, Florence, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties.

•  Four shelters and warming operations remain open.

One shelter still open is at Russell Hill Christian Church in St. Stephens.

Meals are delivered by the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Convention in Georgetown and Berkeley counties. “We’re prepared to continue that for a couple more days,” Red Cross spokesman Stephen Hudson said.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control continued to operate two special medical needs shelters.

• State officials responded to 67 requests for help and provided generators, debris removal, transportation assistance, energy restoration, National Guard support and drinking water.

• As state agencies move into recovery operations, the focus in on debris removal process and damage assessment. Gov. Nikki Haley is encouraging South Carolinians to help neighbors and communities with debris removal from private property.

Staff writers John Monk and Tim Flach and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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