Thousands of Aiken County residents still are without power today as a result of extreme weather conditions that affected roads, trees and power lines.
SCE&G is reporting about 37,000 outages, and Aiken Electric Co-op is reporting more than 10,000 outages as of 5:45 p.m., according to outage maps.
Most traffic lights in the county are currently out.
Whiskey Road between Grace Avenue and South Boundary is closed to traffic. Most of South Boundary also is currently closed, and Croft Mill Road is closed as well.
Between SCE&G and the Aiken Electric Cooperative, roughly 15,000 customers experienced outages throughout Wednesday, and outages greatly worsened overnight.
“As the ice gets heavier on the trees, limbs start snapping and adding to the outage total,” said Muriel Carter, a marketing specialist with Aiken Electric. “Our crews have been working since 3 a.m. to maintain and restore power.”
Carter added that the company's power provider – Santee Cooper – sent additional workers over from the Moncks Corner region of the state to help restore power in the area.
SCE&G also called in to other places to help combat the conditions.
In addition to sending its 1,200 field personnel to the streets to restore power throughout the county, Emily Brady from SCANA public affairs added that the company called in 300 contract workers from various states including Wisconsin, Kentucky and Indiana.
“They came as a part of our Southeast Exchange Agreement. It allows us to receive help in these conditions, so we went ahead and requested the help earlier in the week when we saw the bad weather coming,” Brady said.
Both Carter and Brady said their respective companies are encouraging customers to report their outages as soon as possible.
“If we see a high volume of outages in particular areas the site map, that will let us know we need send crews to those areas,” Carter said.
Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.
To report an outage or downed tree:
SCE&G: Customers can report outages by calling 1-888-333-4465. They also can report outages on their phones and Internet-ready mobile devices by visiting www.sceg.com/mobile. In addition, they can go on their computers and visit www.sceg.com/storm to learn about how to report outages and find other information. Customers can register for the company's texting option by going to www.sceg.com, logging into their accounts and looking for “Activate Text Options” under the “Account Options” feature. After signing up, they can text the word “OUT” to 467234 (gosceg) to report outages.
Aiken Electric Cooperative: Customers can call 1-877-264-5368 to report outages.
Aiken County Public Works Road Maintenance Office: Fallen trees and tree limbs blocking roads can be reported by calling 803-642-1532 or the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at 803-648-6811.
City of Aiken: To report trees and debris blocking roadways in the City of Aiken call 803-293-7870. Non-emergency calls dial 803-642-7620.