In the early morning hours of Monday, April 13, an unprecedented E-F4 tornado tore through the rural communities of Hampton County, bringing destruction unlike anything this area had seen before.
The storm wreaked havoc on our system and caused more than 6,500 outages throughout southern Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties. Problems were found at three substations, as well as downed transmission lines, distribution lines and more than 115 broken poles.
Additional crews were called in to provide assistance in the recovery process including sister cooperatives, Fairfield Electric Cooperative and Black River Electric Cooperative, in order to speed up the recovery process. Crews worked from early morning until late at night for the next four days to get power back to all members.
“We just want to thank our members for their patience and the community for its overwhelming support as our crews and office personnel worked around the clock to restore power,” said Tray Hunter, Palmetto Electric’s vice president of marketing and public relations. Palmetto Electric strives to be community focused in everything we do. Although restoring power was the top priority, we knew we wanted to do more to help.
On Tuesday, April 14, Palmetto Electric delivered 32 insulated coolers, along with 100 pounds of ice, donated by Publix at New River Crossing, to the Hampton County Recreation Center to be used to transport food and drink deliveries for victims and first responders.
On Friday, April 17, Berl Davis, Palmetto Electric’s president and CEO, visited the Hampton County Recreation Center to present United Ministries of Hampton and Hampton County Recreation Center with a total of $10,000 to aid in storm assistance.
A check for $5,000 was presented to James Porter with United Ministries of Hampton with funds from Operation Round Up. $5,000 was also given to Tammy Thaxton, Hampton County Recreation Department Director, from Palmetto Electric Cooperative. This money will be used to purchase tarps, food and basic needs items for those impacted by the storm.
“The victims of the April 13 tornado are not only members of the communities we serve, but they are our neighbors, our friends, and our family,” said Davis. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected by the devastating storm, and we are humbled and honored to help in any way we can.”