FLORENCE COUNTY (WBTW) — Power has been restored to a majority of Duke Energy and Pee Dee Electric Cooperative customers who lost service Saturday night and Sunday morning when a winter storm covered parts of the region with a layer of ice.
As of 2:45 p.m. Monday, only about 400 customers remained without power in Darlington, Dillon, Florence and Marlboro counties in South Carolina, and Robeson and Scotland counties in North Carolina, according to the two electric companies’ websites.
The number of outages was down from about 11,300 late Sunday morning.
Late Monday afternoon, Duke Energy said repair crews had restored power to more than 250,000 customers in the Carolinas. As of 3 p.m. Monday, 24,000 customers – 8,000 in South Carolina and 16,000 in North Carolina – remained without power.
Service will not be restored to some customers in parts of North Carolina’s hard-hit mountain and Southern Pines regions until late Tuesday due to extensive – and, in some cases, remote and isolated – damage to power lines, the utility said.
The South Carolina counties with the most remaining outages on Monday were Chester, Darlington, Greenwood, Lancaster, Laurens, Oconee and Pickens, the utility said.
In the Pee Dee late Sunday after, Hartsville police reminded residents in a Facebook post about the need to drive carefully.
“Although the worst of the ice seems to be over, traveling around the county and state may still be a bit dodgy at times,” the department said. “Remember the rules for traffic lights that aren’t functioning normally! This evening when temperatures drop, bridges and other raised roadways might freeze over. Decks and porches are slip and fall hazards which may get icy later. Be careful clearing debris, especially fallen trees which may be wrapped in downed power lines. Assume all downed lines might be live or might go live at any time.”
Earlier Sunday, in Horry County, a power outage in the North Myrtle Beach Sunday afternoon left about 2,800 customers of Santee Cooper without service. However, as of 3:15 p.m., only about two dozen customers were without power, according to the utility company’s website.
Coker University in Hartsville was among Duke Energy customers without power on Sunday. The university posted on Twitter that the power was off on campus and said anyone in need of campus security should call 843-616-2762.
In Florence, traffic lights were not working and power was out throughout Sunday morning to many restaurants and businesses in the area. At least one restaurant, King Jefe’s, was using a generator to maintain power.
Power was also out Sunday morning at the Emerson apartment complex on S. Irby Street. One woman who lives there told News13 that some residents were stuck outside because they couldn’t use their electronic key fobs to get in.
As of 2:45 p.m. Monday, Duke Energy reported the following outages on its website:
- Darlington County – 9
- Florence County – 10
- Marlboro County – 1
- Robeson County – 161
- Scotland County – 208
As of 2:45 p.m. Monday, the Pee Dee Electric Cooperative reported the following outages on its website:
- Darlington County – 7
- Dillon County – 2
Meanwhile, authorities reopened a section of I-95 in Robeson County that was shut down in both directions near Exit 31, the North Carolina Department of Transportation said. The closure began about 9 a.m. Sunday and affected all four lanes of traffic west of St. Pauls near Highway 20, which was also closed in the area.
The highway reopened about 2:40 p.m. Sunday, a Duke Energy spokesman said. It had been shut down while crews repaired a utility pole for a three-phase power line that had been in danger of falling because of ice on the lines and wind.
At least one crash occurred on I-95, according to a News13 reporter in the area. A large box truck skidded off the highway but no one appeared to be injured.
This is a developing story. Count on News13 for updates.