091217 hurricane irma orangeburg 1

Motorists navigate the rain and wind from Tropical Storm Irma Monday on John C. Calhoun Drive.

CHRISTOPHER HUFF, T&D

Storm ‘winding down’ for region

Tropical Storm Irma’s winds and rain are fading from The T&D Region, leaving little apparent damage.

There were scattered reports of trees down throughout the region, but the National Weather Service received no reports of major damage, Meteorologist Al Moore said Monday night.

The NWS issued a tornado warning on Monday based on radar readings showing a possible tornado moving from Bamberg County to Barnwell County. There has been no confirmation on the scene, so it may not have touched down, Moore said.

While the region was still getting some rain at about 9:30 p.m., Moore said “it looks like it’s winding down" for the region.

OCAB closed

The OCAB Community Action Agency’s central office in Orangeburg and neighborhood centers in Orangeburg, Calhoun, Allendale and Bamberg counties will be closed on Tuesday.

100 in shelters in Orangeburg County

Orangeburg County Emergency Services Director Billy Staley reported at 9:15 p.m. Monday that about 100 people were in shelters and about 980 were without power.

All trees on roads have been cleared, Staley said, warning that more could fall overnight.

Two roads are closed because of excessive water buildup, he said.

No damage reports have been received, Staley said.

Calhoun County has 18 in shelter

Calhoun County Emergency Service Director Bill Minikiewicz said at 9 p.m. there were 18 people being sheltered in the county and 220 are without power. He advised of the forecast stating that tornadoes were a possibility.

Orangeburg County offices open Tuesday

Orangeburg County Administrators Harold Young issued the following statement early Monday evening:

“First, I would like to thank the employees, first responders and volunteers who have been working tirelessly in the community to keep us safe during Hurricane Irma. We are blessed that the storm at this time has not caused widespread property damage or injuries.

“The County of Orangeburg will resume regular operations on tomorrow morning, Tuesday, September 12, 2017. All employees are expected to report at their usual times.”

Bamberg County offices open Tuesday

According to Mary Tilton, public information officer for Bamberg County, motorists are advised to stay off the roads except for emergencies due to some downed trees and power lines.

“We have 16 individuals at the RCES shelter. The EOC is activated and staffed with employees and volunteers who are fielding phone calls and monitoring the weather.

“Bamberg School Districts One and Two are canceled tomorrow (9/12). Bamberg County government offices are open at 9 a.m. tomorrow (9/12).

S.C. State, Denmark Tech closed Tuesday

Both univerisities announced they will not be open on Tuesday. Operations are expected to resume on Wednesday.

Convoy of utility trucks, line workers headed to S.C.

Tropical Storm Irma’s winds and rain caused the loss of power to nearly 100,000 electric cooperative consumers Monday. Cooperatives provide electricity in all 46 counties, but the highest numbers of consumers without power were between the Savannah River and a line extending from Charleston to Columbia to Spartanburg.

More than 100 Arkansas line workers formed a convoy Monday as they departed 11 electric cooperatives headed to South Carolina to help with power system repairs. They will join at least 200 more from other states who will be traveling to the state. Crews will arrive in the damaged areas from North Carolina and Virginia on Tuesday.

As the storm passes through the state late Monday, electric cooperatives in eastern South Carolina also will determine whether they will be able to release crews and equipment to move west for cooperatives facing the biggest damage.

Rain and wind, especially wind gusts, caused the most power system damage.

“Even as the storm was hitting Florida, the potential damage to South Carolina was a moving target,” said Todd Carter, who coordinates in-state and out-of-state support from across the nation. Carter, who uses three computer monitors and two telephones to track his arrangements, manages the shifting requests for assistance from South Carolina cooperatives and tries to match them with the shifting availability of crews and equipment from other states.

Both construction and service repair crews are used in storm repair. A construction crew, which replaces poles and conductors (wire), usually consists of a line truck, bucket truck and five workers including crew foreman, equipment operator, two first class linemen and a ground worker. Other repair crews may consist of a bucket truck and two men to repair fallen conductors, remove trees from lines, and do service work on wires and transformers going to a house.

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