Winter storm knocks out power to less than 1K in SC - FOX Carolina 21

Co-op: Winter storm knocks out power to less than 1K in SC

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COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Power line workers are coming in from out of state to help customers who may lose power across South Carolina in the wake of the winter storm.

According to the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, at 8 a.m. Wednesday less than 1,000 co-op customers were without power statewide.

In advance of the storm, 22 line workers from Kentucky arrived in the state today to assist with power restoration efforts. Co-ops in Florida and Mississippi have agreed to send as many as 300 line workers to help restore power if needed, according to ECSC.

"If this storm produces an inch of ice, we're going to need as much help as we can get," said Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. "Right now, we have almost 300 linemen on stand-by to help. We'll draw crews from Mississippi, Florida, as well as more linemen from Kentucky. We'll decide Wednesday morning whether we have to call them in."

Ice Storm Facts

• Ice can increase the weight of tree branches by 30 times. Falling limbs are a primary source of downed power lines.

• A 0.5 inch accumulation of ice on power lines can add as much as 500 pounds of extra weight.

• In 2009, a southern winter storm that produced an inch of ice knocked out power to more than 1.3 million people in Arkansas and Missouri, causing more than $1.4 billion in damages.

Safety reminders for the public

• Always assume that downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Please report downed power lines to your local electric cooperative or emergency authorities.

• Residents need to prepare to stay in a safe shelter without electricity for many hours. Obtain necessary supplies such batteries, medicine, flashlights and a battery powered radio.

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