THE 10 DAYS immediately after Hurricane Matthew struck seemed like a blur. Everyone at Palmetto Electric worked non-stop, yet tirelessly, to restore electric service to more than 61,000 members.
Finally, a week later, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel as we drew near restoring power back for most of our members. I felt a surge of pride in our employees. Their dedication, commitment to serve, and pure hard work was remarkable, both during the preparation for and the recovery from Matthew.
It proves once again that Palmetto Electric is more than a utility that provides electricity to our customers. It shows the value of having employees who are local residents, involved in the communities where they live and work. Like local law enforcement and other first responders, they are there when you need them.
I’m also proud of Palmetto’s extended cooperative family, which includes our state association, the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc., the 19 other distribution co-ops in South Carolina, and our power supply aggregator, Central Electric Power Cooperative, as well as our utility supply co-op, CEE-US. All worked together, coordinating resources to help us.
Special thanks to 85 employees of eight co-ops from neighboring states that sent crews to restore service: Owen and Salt River electric co-ops and Shelby Energy from Kentucky; Baldwin Electric Membership Corp. (EMC) from Alabama; and Amicalola, Coweta-Fayette, Habersham and Walton EMCs from Georgia. We also thank Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility that generates most of the power we distribute, as well as our contractors and vendors, for their help.
But most of all, we thank our members. You demonstrated patience and understanding, and countless acts of kindness, in the aftermath of the storm.
As life gets back to normal for most of us, please don’t forget the local residents and businesses that were not as fortunate. Many people have a lot of challenges ahead. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We at Palmetto will continue to support them in any way we can.
What Hurricane Matthew did to power lines and poles in Palmetto’s service area, our crews and co-op friends undid in about a week.