Storm caused minor damage in Aiken

  • Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 7:28 a.m.

Even though a powerful storm system blasted Aiken with heavy rain and high winds Wednesday night, it didn’t cause serious problems.

A tree fell on Columbia Avenue in North Aiken and blocked the road around 8 p.m., but it was cleared away quickly, according to Cpt. David Turno of the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Sgt. Jake Mahoney, also with Public Safety, reported there was spot flooding on Whiskey Road and in other areas.

“This storm had a lot of warning with it from all the news that was covering it,” Turno said. “We saw some of the damage that happened in Georgia, so we were prepared. But we were pleasantly surprised that we didn’t suffer any damage like others did.”

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office also didn’t hear of any severe difficulties caused by the storm system.

“The only reports of damage we had were just that some tree limbs were blown down, nothing major,” said Sgt. Jason Feemster. “That was all our dispatch was made aware of.”

Robert Yanity, a spokesman for SCG&E, said the number of customers reporting outages was “about 3,100 system-wide at our peak.” At one point, approximately 1,000 of those customers were in Aiken County, he said.

“It was hard to determine an exact number,” he said. “We saw the number just go up and down, so 3,100 is kind of a rough estimate.”

On Thursday, SCE&G’s website reported there was no outages in Aiken County.

“They are scattered around Columbia and the Charleston area,” said Yanity of the remaining outages. “The number is significantly lower than what we had earlier today, and we’ll still keep working until we get everybody back up.”

Many of SCE&G’s electricity customers live in the southwestern quadrant of South Carolina.

“I think the brunt of the storm actually passed a little bit north of us, so we’re pleased with that,” Yanity said. “Of course, we’re always prepared no matter what the situation is, but we certainly didn’t have the vast amount (of outages) that we were expecting and were prepared for.”

Outages caused by the storm affected 2,500 to 3,000 households served by Aiken Electric Cooperative, according to Muriel Carter, the cooperative’s communications coordinator. The cooperative has around 45,000 customers.

“If it was any worse, we would have called in the ranks,” Carter said. “It was on the verge of being major; it was big. But we were able to repair them (the problems involving outages) quickly and get them all back up.”

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