An updated version of this story can be found here.
Beaufort County has already experienced major power outages according to the SCE&G website. After hitting a peak of nearly 4,000 outages at around 11 a.m., the website has shown significant fluctuations in the number of people affected by outages.
As of 7:40 p.m., there were 624 outages in Beaufort County, according to SCE&G’s website, a drop from 2,376 outages just half an hour prior.
The number of Beaufort County outages has varied greatly throughout the day, from as many as 3,905 around 11 a.m. to as few as four only a couple hours later. There are also 11 outages reported in Colleton County being caused by three incidents.
Outage reports in Beaufort County began early Wednesday morning with reports of 12, and full power was briefly restored throughout the county according to the SCE&G website before the number exploded to nearly 4,000.
No estimates for when power would be completely restored were available online.
Ginny Jones, spokeswoman for SCE&G, said that they were able to restore some power through remote switching, but that it might take longer to bring all power back online.
“We need to make sure our crews are safe when they go out to make repairs, and we hope to have them out as soon as possible as soon as conditions are safe,” said Jones.
According to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, power outages have affected traffic signals in the Shell Point/Parris Island area and on Savannah Highway. They advise against driving at all if possible.
Palmetto Electric was reporting 209 outages as of 5 p.m., with no estimated time for power to be restored to that one customer. 115 of those outages were reported on Hilton Head Island.
There will be a risk of power going out throughout the day, Hunter said.
“Yesterday, we came close to setting an all time peak in demand,” Hunter said. “We will probably get there today.”
Hunter said that high power loads can create a risk of loss of power.
“We have had two tropical storms and a hurricane in a year and a half and there might be some damage that we are not aware of,” Hunter said. “Anytime you put this type of load on the system — any piece of equipment with slight wear or tear could got out.”
With the heightened risk of outages today, Hunter recommends being sure that cell phones are charged and that they have blankets and warm clothes close at hand. If you do experience an outage, he said, report it as soon as possible.
Jones advised people to stay away from any downed power lines. There are none reported in Beaufort County just yet, but she said that with wind and ice fallen lines are not uncommon.
To report a power outage or check on when power will be restored to your area, contact SCE&G at (888) 333-4465 or Palmetto Electric at (866) 445-5551.
SCE&G customers can also set up their phone to report outages via text message, and can report them online and via mobile devices.