“Horry County went to OPCON 4 at 10 a.m. and all of us at Horry Electric are not only following the updates from the Horry County Emergency Management Department, but we’re also keeping a watchful eye on local, state and national weather reports related to Tropical Storm Andrea,” says James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of the cooperative. “There’s always a chance some of these storms could become major hurricanes and there’s always a possibility our members and communities will be impacted.”
An update distributed by Horry County EMD earlier today indicated the current forecast has Tropical Storm Andrea moving toward the South Carolina coast. Horry County could expect winds at 45 MPH around day break Friday morning and rain totals for the next 48 hours could be 2-4 inches.
“Just as we urge our members to be prepared, we’re also ready at Horry Electric Cooperative,” says W.I. Jones, manager of operations for the cooperative. “We have a detailed plan for dealing with the aftermath of a major storm and that includes keeping our members and the media informed throughout the restoration process.”
In 2012, Horry Electric took that commitment a step further and launched an online outage map to give members the ability to monitor outages using any device with Internet access, including smart phones.
Members are asked to remember that, in the event of a major outage, they need to call PowerTouch, the cooperative’s automated power outage reporting system at 843.369.2212. “After, of course, you’ve checked fuses or circuit breakers in your home to make sure they aren’t the source of the problem,” says Jones.
Members are also asked to remember that the process of restoring power could take time. “We need their patience and understanding,” says Jones.
In the event of a major outage, crews work around the clock until all power is restored. “We start at the substations, work out way through the main feeder lines, then focus on the taps off of the main feeder lines and then individual service drops,” says Jones.
To make sure members are fully prepared and know what to expect when it comes to power outages, the cooperative provides information online at horryelectric.com. “Our complete guide to power outages includes information on how PowerTouch, our automated Outage Reporting System works; repairs members need to make to restore service; safety information for before, during and after a storm, as well as answers to some questions we often get asked during a power outage,” says Howle.
“All any of us can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” says Howle.
Additional online materials provided by Horry Electric Cooperative to help members prepare: