BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley Electric Cooperative officials announced Friday afternoon that crews restored the last hurricane-related outage Friday morning at 5 a.m.
"A total of 56,532 Berkeley Electric members lost power due to Hurricane Matthew," according to BEC officials."Over the course of the storm, cooperative crews restored 75,636 services and replaced 137 broken poles system wide. To put this in perspective, it normally takes an average of two hours to replace a broken pole. This many poles represents 274 man hours, or almost 11 ½ days of work at 24 hours a day. Crews were able to replace all poles, as well as complete all other necessary repairs, in seven days."
BEC officials say this was due in large part to the extensive preparations Berkeley Electric Cooperative made before the storm.
"This included bringing in an additional 257 crew members from 12 sister cooperatives across five states and specialized equipment to restore power in marshy and flood-prone areas," officials said.
Berkeley Electric officials say they area also working directly with DSS on expediting disaster SNAP benefits, which give food assistance to low-income households with food loss or damage caused by a natural disaster.
"The Cooperative will be providing DSS with the zip codes where 50% or more of the population lost power for a total of 4 hours during this disaster. For those areas that do not fall in this category, Berkeley Electric will be able to provide letters of verification for those members beginning next week."
"Berkeley Electric Cooperative would like to thank its members for their patience and understanding during this storm. We would also like to extend a special thanks to the cooperatives who sent us aid including: Broad River Electric Cooperative, Clark Energy Cooperative, Plateau Electric Cooperative, Cumberland Valley Electric Cooperative, East Mississippi Electric Power Association, Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, Southern Pine Electric, South Kentucky RECC, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, Licking Valley Rural Electric Cooperative and Jackson Energy."