12 On Your Side: Rolling blackouts leave thousands in the dark for hours

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Jan. 7, 2014

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW)

At noon on Tuesday we reported thousands of folks in the dark in Aiken and Edgefield counties. Now as those numbers have been greatly improved, across the Savannah River in Georgia, some are still keeping their fingers crossed.

"The electricity has been out since 6:30 yesterday," said Connie Brent. After flickering on and off for hours last night, Brent says her lights went out for good leaving her not only in the dark but in the cold as well. "Thank God for overseas assignments. I got up under my mink blankets, my mink Korean comforter, my military flannels," said Brent.

She hunkered down for what even this retired military veteran will tell you was an extremely cold night.. Even at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon it was not much better. "About 48 degrees in the house," said Brent.

She says she started calling Georgia Power last night but said she and folks on her block are still without lights or heat. "I had to go assist a friend across the street because she had to get up and go to work, so she did not want her son to get up in the dark to catch the school bus, so I helped her," said Brent.

The power outages impacted South Carolina Electric and Gas as well. The utilities outage map reported thousands of Aiken and Edgefield county residents who were still in the dark into the late morning. SCE&G said it started rolling blackouts to protect its electric grid after machinery froze due to the frigid temperatures.

As for Brent, she is optimistic that she will not be spending another dark and cold night in her home but if she has to, this veteran is ready. "If worst comes to worst, I can put that Gor-Tex on, put my little skull cap on and I'll make it work," said Brent.

Late Tuesday afternoon, we were told by a representative with Georgia Power that the lights were back on in Brent's subdivision.

Meanwhile, SCE&G is asking customers to conserve energy as the temps remain well below freezing. In particular between 6 and 9 o'clock Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

Officials say that will reduce stress on the system, and reduce the potential for outages.


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