Record lows that overwhelmed a number of SCE&G generating plants earlier this month shouldn't be a problem this time around, according to spokeswoman Kim Asbill.
The mechanical failure Jan. 7 prompted groans from customers when the power company issued rolling blackouts to fix the problem.
"We're not anticipating any issues with handling capacity. What we are expecting are issues with ice. Ice causes tree limbs to break and fall. That can take the power lines out," Asbill said.
Asbill urged residents to assume all downed wires are live and alert authorities to problem areas. Mobile SCE&G crews are positioned and prepared to respond wherever the storm hits, Asbill said. Customers can report outages at 1-888-333-4465 and view updates on the outage map on SCE&G's website.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said the city has several crews that will work to clear fallen trees with SCE&G to help facilitate the return of power in the event of outages.
Santee Cooper crews were also preparing Tuesday for possible storm-related repairs. The utility company also contracted repair and tree crews from Florida and Louisiana to help in storm repairs.
Santee Cooper officials said in order to meet increased demand from the cold nights, their customers should conserve electricity where possible by delaying the use of dishwashers and washing machines during peak demand times, in the evening before bed time and in the mornings before 9 a.m. Santee Cooper customers can report outages at 1-888-769-7688 and see updates on the website.
Berkeley Electric Cooperative also had crews standing by Tuesday afternoon. Customers were encouraged to report outages by calling 1-888-253-4232 and see updates on the website.
Potential incidents of price gouging have been reported to The Post and Courier.
If any consumers see any examples of price gouging, contact the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs. The toll free number in South Carolina is 1-800-922-1594.
Emergencies during the snow
Charleston County EMS Director Don Lundy said he will dispatch five extra ambulances during the storm, in addition to the 16 that are normally on the road. The ambulances will be stationed throughout the county, including the Isle of Palms, he said. "We can pretty well reach anybody we need to if bridges are impassable."
Patients who need to be transported to the hospital during the storm will be taken to the facility that closest and safest to get to, Lundy said.
Local law enforcement and the S.C. Highway Patrol will keep the department updated on the safest routes, he said. "That's a challenge at times, but we do manage to make sure we're on roads that are somewhat clear."
Bus rides halted
officials said 22 flights were canceled by 10 a.m. Tuesday before American, Delta jetBlue and Southwest canceled all their afternoon flights. The airport terminal remain open.
"The airport itself is up and running, we just have a lot of flight cancellations," said Becky Beaman, Charleston County Aviation Authority's spokesperson.
All airlines hope to resume operations Wednesday, with the first flight scheduled to depart at 8:30 a.m., according to airport spokesperson Charlene Gunnells. But airport officials urge travelers to check with their airlines before heading to the airport.
A snowball fight between the blues and the reds is planned for Marion Square Wednesday at high noon, assuming there's enough accumulation of the white stuff to play.
The Holy City Snowball Fight, an event being organized on Facebook, divides the teams by town location: If you live south of Calhoun on the peninsula, in West Ashley, James and Johns Island, Folly Beach, you are red. If you live north of Calhoun Street on the peninsula, in Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, North Charleston, Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island, you are blue. It's a chance to represent your colors flamboyantly.
Emergency outage number
To report power outages to SCE&G, call 1-888-333-4465.
Live from Charleston
Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore chased the day's arctic conditions to the College of Charleston Cistern on Tuesday morning.
"Wow! I usually think I'm coming here to cover a hurricane. But today, it's ice and snow," Cantore said during a live broadcast.
Dressed in a ball cap and signature Weather Channel raincoat, Cantore marveled at the Cistern Yard's historic oak trees and warned that bitter cold and ice could cause damage to their limbs.
WCSC meteorologist Bill Walsh joined Cantore for a quick exchange about the storm's record-breaking potential for the Lowcountry.
Rides to warming centers
Charleston County Government is coordinating with Durham Transportation to arrange for pick-up and transfer to area warming centers. The service will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Service will be provided until the roadways are no longer safe for travel.
Pick up locations: downtown, Charleston Progressive School, 382 Meeting St. and Burke High School, 244 President St.; North Charleston, CARTA facility at Cosgrove and Rivers Avenues; West of the Ashley, Kmart Shopping Center, 1535 Savannah Hwy., First Assembly of God, 2957 Savannah Hwy.; East of the Cooper,
Seewee Outpost, 4853 Highway 17 North, Town Center (Belk), 1600 Palmetto Grande Dr.
Riders will be transported to the closest available "Warming Center." Centers are located at Crisis Ministries, 573 Meeting St., Charleston County Sheriff's Office Camp, Leeds Ave.; Unity Baptist Church, 950 Whipple Road, Hibben United Methodist Church 690 Coleman Blvd.
Citizens with special needs may request transportation assistance by calling The Charleston County Citizen's Information Line: 843-746-3900 (English) 843-746-3909 (Spanish)
Charleston County has also activated the Charleston County Citizen's information line to answer questions related to the weather: 843-746-3900 (English) 843-746-3909 (Spanish).
Joint Base Charleston
Joint Base Charleston is implementing "mission essential personnel" status for Wednesday. Personnel should check with their supervisors to see if they need to report for duty.
Reporters Christina Elmore, Natalie Caula Hauff and Lauren Sausser contributed to this report.
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