Officials at Duke Energy say it will take several days to restore power to all the customers in the Upstate who lost service in the winter storm that hit this weekend.
“We got all of it with this storm. We got wet snow. We got frozen precipitation and we had winds as well with some gusts going into the 35-40 mile-per-hour ranges, which is a combination that’s not good for electrical infrastructure so that’s a lot of trees down, especially in the rural areas up toward the North Carolina border,” said Duke Energy spokesperson Ryan Mosier.
Mosier said northern Greenville, Spartanburg and Pickens counties got hit the worst. Sunday morning, as many as 70,000 Duke customers were without power in the South Carolina service area.
“The beautiful thing about the utility industry is whenever you have a weather event like this it’s all hands on deck from an industry perspective,” Mosier said. “We have Duke Energy crews from our operations in the Midwest and in Florida that are here with us as well as some of our Duke Energy crews from the coast where they didn’t really have an impact. So we prepositioned a ton of folks, like 9,000 line technicians and other workers.”
In addition to its regular resources in South Carolina, Mosier said Duke brought in an additional 1,500 line technicians.
As of noon Monday, about 46,000 customers remained without power. At the same time Monday, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina reported the same number of outages.
“It’s the impact on the trees, the trees taking lines down, snapping poles, that sort of thing,” Mosier said. “And so that’s the kind of damage that you expect with this type of weather but it’s also the type of damage that takes the longest to repair.”
Mosier said it’s too early to tell when all customers will be restored.
“It will be a multi-day event, we know that, for some customers, ” he said. “But for the bulk of the customers that experienced an outage, we’re going to get them restored in the next 24-36 hours.”