Irma vs. the county: Biggest problem was loss of electricity | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | September 14, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 13, 2017 at 10:32 am
Colleton County Administrator Kevin Griffin was out at Dogwood Hills Golf Course the afternoon of Sept. 12, checking on the removal of several trees brought down by Tropical Storm Irma.
“We should be back to normal operation by Wednesday morning,” Griffin said to the accompaniment of chain saws.
The biggest problem county operations faced as the storm whipped through the county was the loss of electrical service at several county facilities, including the Harrelson Building which houses many of the county’s offices.
Griffin said he had been advised that all the county roads were open to traffic, crediting the county’s Public Works Department and Colleton County Sheriff’s Office with clearing the roadways of downed trees.
Some roads in the low-lying areas of Colleton County, especially in Green Pond and Ritter, experienced flooding, and the water was slowing the work to restore electrical service in those areas.
By Tuesday afternoon, Griffin said, Coastal Electric Cooperative was getting close to a fully restored electrical service for their customers. Tuesday morning, the co-op was reporting 400 customers without electricity.
South Carolina Electric and Gas, about 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, still had about 2,500 Colleton County electric customers still without power.
The biggest problem for the county is Edisto Beach, Griffin said. But the damage to Edisto Beach from Irma did not come close to the level of devastation that the beach community sustained from Hurricane Matthew, he said.
Assessing the county’s preparation and response to the latest natural disaster, Griffin said, “We’re getting too good at it. We have been down this road too many times.”