The Latest: Only 6,800 SC power outages remain from Irma
Sep. 14, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Irma's effects in South Carolina (all times local):
Officials say power outages in South Carolina from Irma are now down to the thousands.
About 6,800 customers remained without electricity Thursday afternoon, with most of them being Duke Energy customers in the Upstate.
About 2,300 power outages remained in Oconee County, split between Duke Energy and the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.
At the peak of Irma's winds and rains Monday, about 250,000 power outages were reported in South Carolina.
Wildlife officials say as many as one third of the sea turtle nests in South Carolina might not have hatched before Irma struck the state.
Michelle Pate with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says many of the remaining nests may not be viable after the storm. Pate said there were more than 5,000 nests at the beginning of the season.
Kiawah Island biologist Jim Jordan said as many as 100 nests have been lost on the island near Charleston.
Terry Fansler with the Seabrook Island turtle team said there were only two of 70 nests that had not already hatched on the island.
Becky Greene with the Folly Beach Turtle Team said only eight of the 71 nests on the island had not hatched before Irma.
Experts say as Irma struck along the north coast of South Carolina, the storm washed away more than a dozen sea turtle nests.
Myrtle Beach State Park ranger Ann Wilson said two bad things happen when a storm moves ashore. Wilson said either the markers are blown away and it's impossible to find the nests, or in cases of wide-spread beach erosion, the nests could be washed away.
Wilson said one nest was lost in Myrtle Beach but Pawleys Island lost four of its remaining six nests. She said Litchfield Beach lost six of its remaining seven nests.
Wilson said she's waiting to see if eggs hatch at four nests in the park.
Irma's storm surge hit at high tide in parts of the Grand Strand.
Hurricane Irma brought more than storm surge and big waves to the South Carolina coast.
The storm also brought Coast Guard buoy number 8. The big red buoy washed ashore on Hilton Head Island on Monday.
Jacqueline Hayworth found the buoy Tuesday morning when she went out to survey the damage from the storm.
The Coast Guard said the buoy was at the mouth of Port Royal Sound before the storm. The storm with 60 mph (97 kph) winds moved the buoy about 8 miles (13 kilometers) to Hilton Head.
Lt. J.B. Zorn in Charleston said the Coast Guard will try to get the buoy black in place as soon as it figures out how to move the 13,000 pound (5900 kilograms) marine safety device.
Utilities in South Carolina are making good progress in restoring electric service to those who lost power in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Duke Energy reported the biggest problems Thursday morning with more than 9,000 customers without service. The biggest problems were in Oconee, Anderson and Pickens counties.
The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina reported about 5,000 customers without service Thursday. The biggest problems were in Oconee and Charleston counties.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. reported about 1,700 customers without electricity. The major problems were in Beaufort and Richland counties.
Gov. Henry McMaster planned to head to Edisto Beach on Thursday to view damage from the storm. The governor had ordered the evacuation of barrier islands in southern South Carolina because of Irma. The evacuation order was lifted Tuesday.