South Carolina is ready to help after Irma finishes battering our neighbors in Georgia and Florida.
S.C. National Guard units and utility workers are preparing to respond to hurricane damage – not in the Palmetto State, but in other states that were harder hit by Hurricane Irma.
Adjutant General Robert Livingston said Sunday that 650 National Guard members were ready to be deployed as soon as Irma passes – including an infantry battalion and a transportation company.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources said Monday that 50 game wardens will travel to Florida on Tuesday to assist with search and rescue efforts in that state.
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The wardens will assemble in Orlando to join other wildlife agencies, law enforcement and military to search rural floodwaters for survivors and conduct security patrol, the agency said in a press release.
Utilities also will respond with crews to address power outages caused by the hurricane, part of a mutual-aid agreement they have with utilities in other states.
The state-owned Santee Cooper utility already has promised to send more support crews than it originally agreed to, said spokesperson Mollie Gore, depending on whether the utility sees “major problems” from the storm Monday.
Thirty linemen will go to Florida Tuesday, Santee Cooper’s Gore said, and other crews may follow.
But South Carolina isn’t out of the woods yet.
With more than 33,000 of its customers without power across South Carolina on Monday morning, SCANA, the corporate parent of SCE&G, said it would wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to decide on sending its crews elsewhere.
“Crews are currently working to assess damage and restore power throughout our service territory,” spokesman Paul Fischer said Monday, “and will continue to do so until all customers are restored.”