ws-line-IMG_1435.jpg  as Tropical Storm Michael churns through South Carolina

Mount Pleasant Police kept the area clear around a downed power line across Simmons Street at Morrison Street on Thursday morning, Oct. 11. A fallen tree brought the line down. Wade Spees/Staff

Tropical Storm Michael  knocked out power to thousands in the Charleston area and tens of thousands across South Carolina as it raced across the state.

The good news is that the number of homes and businesses without power, which stood at more than 120,000 statewide around 9:30 a.m., declined to about 70,000 at 2:15 p.m. Here's the latest:

All but a few hundred of what had been thousands of S.C. Electric & Gas outages in Berkeley and Dorchester counties were resolved by the early afternoon. About 3,800 in Charleston County and about 24,000 across the state were still without power from SCE&G.

Another 225 in Berkeley County and 450 in Dorchester County, who are electric cooperative customers, were also without power. 

The state outages were fairly evenly split between SCE&G, Duke Energy, and the state's electric cooperatives. It's about 50,000 fewer outages than had been reported just three hours earlier.

"More than 200 off-system contractors from as far away as Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio began arriving in South Carolina last night. More will arrive soon to be staged across our service territory ready to respond," SCE&G tweeted.

South Carolina's electric cooperatives reported just over 14,000 customers without power, a number that has been declining.

"Crews are in the field working but will have to stop for safety reasons if sustained wind speeds reach 35 mph," according to a Facebook post from the Berkeley utility.

Duke Energy, which primarily serves the Upstate and the Pee Dee, was reporting about 25,000 customers without power, down from 40,000 before noon. Of those outages, nearly 7,000 were in Spartanburg County and 4,500 in both Darlington and Sumter counties.

Santee Cooper reported 727 outages, down from more than 6,000 a few hours earlier, mostly in the Myrtle Beach area.

Wind gusts up to 60 mph downed trees and utility poles.

Richland and Lexington counties had the most SCE&G outages early in the day, more than 20,000 combined, but the number had dropped closer to 13,000 by 2:15 p.m.