Co-op line crews from across SC help to restore all services by Monday night
Winter Storm Diego, which swept through the Carolinas Saturday and Sunday nights with below freezing temperatures, snow and freezing rain, caused approximately 8,500 members of Broad River Electric Cooperative to lose power. With support from contract crews and cooperatives from across the state, the local utility restored all of its services by 7 p.m. Monday night.
Storm-related outages, due mostly to fallen limbs and trees, began at approximately 9 p.m. Saturday night. Over 6,000 members had lost service by 5:30 a.m. Sunday, the peak of the two-day event. Most of those members were in Spartanburg County, where about 5,200 were without electricity. While many had their power restored after a few hours, some in northern Spartanburg County and in the Cowpens area were without electricity for more than 30 hours.
“We’re very appreciative of our members’ patience and prayers during these outages,” said Broad River Electric CEO Terry Mallard. “Lineworkers have a hard and dangerous job, especially in these conditions. All of the crews that worked on our system these last few days did an excellent job of returning power to our members.”
Before noon Sunday, Broad River Electric lineworkers were being assisted by contract crews from Asplundh Tree Experts and Pike Electric. Crews from fellow South Carolina cooperatives Newberry Electric, Edisto Electric, Fairfield Electric, Coastal Electric, and Tri-County Electric arrived Sunday afternoon to join the restoration efforts.
“I’ve seen storms like this one cause outages that last several days,” said Cary Johnson, Vice President of Energy Delivery, who has been with the cooperative for 31 years. “But because of the help we had from visiting crews, the high level of performance from our linemen and staff, and our aggressive vegetation management program, we were able to get power back to our members in a shorter amount of time.”
Broad River Electric’s year-round vegetation management program trims and cuts limbs, trees, and other vegetation away from power lines, which helps to prevent downed poles and lines and provides better access to power lines during restoration efforts. Vegetation management crews have been working in Spartanburg County for the last several months.
For more information about outage restoration and preparation, visit www.broadriverelectric.com.