COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 31, 2007) – Icy precipitation is in the forecast for much of the Midlands early tomorrow morning. Now is the time to begin preparing for potential power outages. Winter ice storms can be some of the most troubling storm systems for utilities. As freezing temperatures convert rain into ice, trees and their limbs will often bend and break from the additional weight, falling on ice-covered lines and causing power outages.
SCE&G storm site
SCE&G maintains an extensive storm information Web site for its customers. The site, http://www.sceg.com/en/storm-center/, includes information on how customers can prepare for major storms and what they should do if a power outage occurs. Also included on the site are safety tips, meter base responsibilities in case of damage, generator safety, links to emergency service agencies, and information on the outage restoration process. SCE&G encourages customers to visit the site in advance of forecasted winter precipitation and print information for reference if a power outage occurs.
Reporting outages and safety tips
SCE&G offers the following guidelines for customers to use in preparation for potential outages, as well as their safety during a storm:
- To report outages and/or downed power lines, call SCE&G at 1-888-333-4465. The faster SCE&G receives your outage report, the faster it can assess the problem area and restore power to your home.
- Keep yourself, others and pets away from downed power lines as well as objects, such as tree limbs, touching downed power lines. Always assume that they are energized.
- Do not stand under ice-laden limbs or power lines. Be on the lookout for falling ice.
- Have flashlights, fresh batteries and blankets on hand.
- Do not attempt to tie generators into the house circuit. This can be dangerous to you, your neighbors and to our linemen. Plug appliances directly into the generator. Supplemental heaters and generators designed for home use should be used with extreme caution, paying close attention to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Should the power go out while you are cooking dinner, remember to turn the stove off and remove any cookware from the cooking surfaced and oven.
- Don't open refrigerators or freezers during an outage unless absolutely necessary. Repeated openings cause the cold air to escape and food to thaw more quickly.
- It's hard to resist the urge to supplement your heating system if a power outage shuts it down, but in reality household items such as cooking stoves or ovens and outdoor grills should never be used for heat. If you use a fireplace for heat, be sure to extinguish any flames before going to bed. Candles also should be extinguished.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 623,000 customers in 26 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 297,000 customers in 34 counties in the state. Information about SCE&G is available on the company’s web site at www.sceg.com.