South Carolina cooperatives prepare for Hurricane Florence


Storm preparations are continuing full steam ahead as electric cooperatives prepare for potential damage from Hurricane Florence. With consumers in all 46 of South Carolina’s counties, electric cooperatives began planning for crew dispatch over the wide region that could be affected.

“As soon as a widespread weather event becomes a possibility, we activate a long-standing, formal agreement among the state’s cooperatives and with multiple surrounding states,” said Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at the state association of electric cooperatives. “We reserve repair crews and plan for them to be close to at-risk areas after a storm passes.

“We’ve spoken with co-op operations directors in Georgia and know they have crews ready to roll as soon we make the call,” Carter said.

About 100 crews from nearby Georgia are ready to head to the Palmetto State if or when needed.

The mutual aid agreements, which specify the terms of assistance that have been previously determined, reassure local electric co-op operations directors that they will have the help they need when they need it.

“The basic plans for disasters are always up to date,” said Carter, who coordinates repair crews needs among cooperatives. “So, several days out from a storm, we initiate conference calls among the co-ops in this state and among state co-op coordinators like me across the Southeast.”

South Carolina co-ops also may use crews from Arkansas, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi if necessary, Carter said.

South Carolina news media can follow the impact of Hurricane Florence on the more than 1.3 million South Carolinians who use power from electric cooperatives in all 46 counties.