Some People in Midlands Still Have No Power

New Zion, SC (WLTX) -- With temperatures reaching into the 70's during the week, it's easy to forget that some people in the Midlands are still dealing with problems from last week's snow and ice storm.

About 350,000 people in the state went without power at the height of last week's storm, and while most now have power, Sadie Whitehead and Phillip McFadden don't

Whitehead, 64, lives with and cares for her 89-year-old father.

"I was on the phone with my sister. I heard something fall," Whitehead said, recalling the exact moment when their home lost power last Wednesday.

That's when a massive tree in front of their home became heavy with frozen ice and came toppling down, taking out a power line that remained downed in the front of their yard on the way.

Whitehead, who grew up in Clarendon County, said she knew what to do because her family grew up having to utilize lanterns for light.

But the two said they were still confused because some neighbors around them in their New Zion neighborhood had power restored last week, including a relative next door.

"The lights came back on Friday," Whitehead said of some of her neighbors.

Santee Electric Cooperative said their crews must often wade through wooded and swampy areas to reach downed lines, and then once they reach them, in some cases, they have to evaluate the circumstances around each line and disconnection individually.

A company spokesperson said those areas are among the most difficult for crews to reach.

"The only way to get to those lines is to go into that forest area, through that swamp land, and replace things," said Adrel Langley, the Manager of Community Relations for the company.

Langley also said that can also make it more difficult to determine exactly when those lines will be back up and running..

"I say as long as he's good and I'm taking care of him, I say don't even worry about it," Whitehead said, saying that she would wait as long as it takes for the power to be turned back on in the home she shares with her father.

Langley said about 500 crews are working to restore power across all 20,0000 sq. mile the company covers, which amounted to about 5,000 miles worth of power lines.

Langley said they will continue working until everyone has power.


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