About 40,000 Beaufort County residents spent Tuesday without power, and some of them could remain in the dark for another week.
Crews with SCE&G and Palmetto Electric Cooperative worked through the weekend to repair lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, but thousands of locals throughout the county remain affected.
SCE&G expects to have power restoration in Beaufort County “substantially complete” by Oct. 17, according to the utility’s website.
However, because access to some areas is limited, “the outages on Daufuskie Island, Fripp Island and Hunting Island could potentially exceed this estimated time of restoration,” the site said.
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As of late Tuesday afternoon, the utility had more than 20,000 local customers without power. Palmetto Electric reported more than 16,000 outages.
▪ Most businesses and homes in Bluffton have power, but portions of the Heritage at New Riverside, Heritage Lakes, and Hidden Lakes neighborhoods are still in the dark. There are also reports of outages in neighborhoods near Bluffton Middle School, as well as streets around Alljoy Road and Fernlakes Drive. Some outages have been reported in Old Town, including in the area of Thomas Heyward Street.
▪ On Hilton Head Island, thousands remain in the dark. However, reports Tuesday indicate that power in portions of North Forest Beach, Hilton Head Plantation, Wexford Plantation and Palmetto Dunes has been restored. Most of the homes in Palmetto Hall are without power as are homes in Spanish Wells Plantation. Power is also reportedly spotty in the Long Cove area.
▪ Power remains spotty north of the Broad River. Most of Port Royal is out of power, as well as the Mossy Oaks, Belleview Circle, Mink Point Boulevard, and Shell Park Circle areas of Beaufort. Some streets off Parris Island Gateway are also reportedly powerless. Many Lady’s Island neighborhoods, including Tidewater Creek Drive, pockets of Royal Pines and streets near the Beaufort County Airport, are also without power. Electricity remains off in areas near Orange Grove Road and in parts of the Coffin Point area of St. Helena Island. Power has been restored to many of the businesses along Sams Point Road.
▪ There were reports Tuesday that vast swaths of Hardeeville and Levy remain without power.
According to a message posted Tuesday to Palmetto Electric’s Facebook page, crews were working in a number of areas around the county. Those included numerous locations in and around Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island.
Lack of power played a major role in the Beaufort County School District’s decision to close schools through at least Thursday, district spokesman Jim Foster said Monday afternoon.
There were still six schools without power as of late Tuesday, down from a dozen on Monday, he said.
Gov. Nikki Haley said as of Tuesday afternoon there were still nearly 300,000 residents statewide without power.
While normal water service has been restored to most of the county, there is a boil advisory in effect for drinking water on Hilton Head Island.
While there appears to be no evidence of water contamination, “the Hilton Head Public Service District advises its customers to vigorously boil their water for at least one full minute prior to drinking or cooking,” according to a news release from the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority.
A previous boil advisory for St. Helena Island, Cat Island, Cane Island, Distant Island, Warsaw Island and Vivian’s Island was lifted Tuesday, according to the water authority.