Why thousands were in the dark as power went out in Midlands

More than 8,000 SCE&G customers were without power Friday afternoon as part of a power outage that also caused traffic lights to go dark.

“8,600 customers were without power at peak outage,” SCE&G spokeswoman Ginny Jones said.

The cause of the outage was a problem with a piece of equipment, Jones said. The equipment in question was a lightning assessor, which is designed to protect equipment and insulation from lightning strikes.

Jones said lightning was not the cause of Friday’s outage, Jones said.

The outage was so widespread because SCE&G’s system cut off power to many customers to protect the entire system from damage and all of its customers.

More than 70 outages were also reported in Lexington County.

Just before 4 p.m., SCE&G reported just 31 outages in Richland County.

“We were able to restore power to many customers by switching systems and having crews address issues,” Jones said.

Jones said the equipment that failed will be isolated and examined to determine if it is safe and if it needs to be replaced.

“We’re fortunate, our system is designed to let us know if there is a problem, and to keep it from becoming a bigger problem.”

The Lexington Police Department tweeted that Park Road, between Weatherstone Road and Foxglen Road, is closed because of power lines down across the roadway.

Jones said one affected area in Richland County is expected to have its power restored by 4 p.m. and that they will work until all customers have their power restored.