By Saturday night, the Charleston area's biggest electricity supplier reported that just about 2,100 customers were still without power — down from about 19,000 in the morning — as cleanup from Hurricane Dorian continued.
Dominion Energy, the new parent company of the former South Carolina Electric and Gas, estimated that, of the remaining customers in the state without power, nearly all would have service restored by Sunday night.
Paul Fischer, a spokesman for Dominion South Carolina, said that approximately 274,000 customers were affected by the storm. Power had been restored for about 98 percent of those customers by mid-afternoon Saturday.
"We appreciate how frustrating it is for our customers to be without power for any period of time, and we certainly appreciate their patience as line crews and tree crews continue to work to get the job done," Fischer said.
Meanwhile, Berkeley Electric Cooperative also reported around 1,300 outages in Charleston County Saturday evening. Nearly all of the outages were in the Johns Island area, according to the utility's online map.
Earlier in the day, about 500 of their customers in Berkeley County had outages, but all but around 10 had power restored throughout the day.
The utility said on its Twitter feed that more than 200 workers were making repairs on Johns Island Saturday afternoon. Customers in outlying parts of the district likely won't have power restored until Sunday or later, according to the utility, in part because of a significant amount of broken poles in the system.
More than 40 poles on the system broke, the majority of which in the Johns Island area.
Power outages have persisted in the Charleston region since the early hours of Thursday morning, as Dorian's winds whipped along the coast, blowing transformers and entwining power lines with fallen trees and limbs.
On Friday and into Saturday, traffic lights sat dark in some intersections. According to an update Saturday from the city of Charleston, power was restored to all but four of them by about 5 p.m.
And for the thousands of households still without electricity, sunny weather with temperature highs forecast in the 90s on Saturday meant the second day in a row of sweltering conditions and no air conditioning.
Samone Green, of Moncks Corner, said the inside of her house was "horrible" with the power out on Friday, "but I was out because we've been in the house the whole week."
Green, whose power was returned Friday night, was picking up free bags of ice in front of the Harris Teeter in the St. Andrews Shopping Center, at 975 Savannah Hwy. They were going to her aunt on James Island, who Green said hadn't had power for days.
Workers at the store distributed 10-pound bags out of a refrigerated truck that hummed outside the front door of the grocer, one of four locations offering free water and ice. Store Director Pat Martinage said in all, the location had received 2,000 bags of ice and 750 packages of bottled water to distribute.
Alec Brebner, whose house by Hampton Park was still dark, stopped by to pick up four bags. He'd tried to cook most of the meat in the house already and was picking up the bags to cool their remaining fruit and vegetables.
"It's hot, that's right, but we're hanging in there," Brebner said.
Destruction from falling trees was a particular issue on James Island, Fischer said, where in some cases, a falling limb may have knocked out the service line connection from a house to a main utility line.
If that has happened, customers need to report that outage specifically to Dominion online or by phone, because a special electrician is required to do the repair, Fischer said.
As power is restored for more customers, Fischer said, the focus will shift to actually rebuilding parts of systems that were damaged by trees and tree limbs.
Even for those whose power returned, other utilities continued to lag. Some around the region were still without internet or cable service from provider Comcast.
Alex Horwitz, a spokesman for the company, said most customers in the Charleston region should regain service as their power comes back on, because crews are working alongside power companies.
But on Johns Island, Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island, the wait was longer. A third-party contractor severed a fiber optics cable as they were clearing trees after the storm, Horwitz said.
Comcast was on-site Saturday and able to restore service there later in the day, he said.