Lineman crews working long hours in tough conditions to restore power

Photo Courtesy: Luke Burgess

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Power outages are still affecting thousands of people across South Carolina. Horry County suffered some of the worst outages in the state.

While it’s easy to get frustrated when the power is off, hundreds of crews have been working 16 hour shifts to get the lights back on.

Photo Courtesy: Luke Burgess
Photo Courtesy: Luke Burgess

About a hundred extra power crews from all over the country have been also been called in to help.

They’ve had to remove large trees from power lines and roadways, repair broken poles, and have been working day and night.

Crews started on substations and main line feeders which effects the bulk of customers, moved onto the taps that spring from those, and finally started fixing the transformers that feed individual neighborhoods.

Often times these workers have left their own homes that lacked electricity to make sure others could get back up and running.

“Some of my guys, they didn’t have power until last night. We’ve got crews that came in to the area, places they’re staying might not even have power. So, you know, that’s the heart of them is to take care of the customers we have,” said Luke Burgess, a crew supervisor for Santee Cooper.

Photo Courtesy: Luke Burgess
Photo Courtesy: Luke Burgess

Burgess said that his crew would often skip out on the chance for hot meals, just to get one more customer up and running.  “And we’re going to stay out here until all of the power is restored,” said Burgess.

Customers like Margaret Councill didn’t have power for days, but with all the damage she saw in her neighborhood she says she understands the need for patience.

“And to just be grateful for what they’re doing because they’re human and they get tired as well. But just know there’s a lot of damage, and a lot of lights that are off, and they’re going to get to them,” said Councill.

Santee Cooper says it should have the lights back on for most people by Friday. Pee Dee Electric hopes to have power restored by this Sunday. Horry Electric says it could be a week or more before all of its customers have electricity again.

Click here for a list of the latest outages.