More than 95,000 S.C. households were without power at 5 p.m. Friday, hours after Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina.
South Carolina’s utilities have warned those outages could last a while, as Florence’s strong winds and heavy rains keep linemen from making repairs.
Most of the power outages — some 62,000 — were in Horry County, just south of where Florence made landfall Friday morning in North Carolina.
Here’s a breakdown of customers affected by South Carolina’s power outages, as of 2 p.m. Friday:
▪ Nearly 39,600 customers directly served by the state-owned Santee Cooper utility. Nearly 27,700 of those customers were in North Myrtle Beach; about 7,700 were in Myrtle Beach.
▪ About 33,200 customers of electric cooperatives, which buy power from Santee Cooper and Duke Energy. Nearly 26,700 of those were Horry Electric customers in Horry County.
▪ 22,200 Duke Energy customers. Nearly 13,000 were in the Pee Dee counties of Florence, Marion and Dillon, just south of the North Carolina border.
▪ About 200 SCE&G customers.
Santee Cooper said Friday morning that 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 electrical 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.”