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Cold weather caused few problems for utilities

Charles Warner Editor

6 months 3 days 11 hours ago |767 Views | | | Email | Print

UNION COUNTY — Though it placed increased demand on their systems, the brutally cold weather that settled in over the county earlier this week did not cause any major power outages locally.


Temperatures in Union County began dropping below freezing Monday afternoon when an arctic air mass pulled down from Canada settled in over the Carolinas. Temperatures fell into the single Tuesday morning and never got above freezing until Wednesday when the air mass moved east.


City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols said that while the below freezing temperatures resulted in increased demand on the city’s utility systems it did not, however, cause any outages. He said that except for a tree limb that fell across some power lines in the Glendale area Monday afternoon because of gusty winds, the city had no problems with keeping customers supplied with power.


“We didn’t have any problems,” Nichols said Wednesday. “From the log book I didn’t see any calls for electrical outages last night.”


Nichols said the biggest problem city personnel had to deal with related to the weather was frozen pipes, but even these were relatively few in number.


“We’ve had a few calls to shut off water lines for residents where their lines were frozen,” Nichols said.


The city also experienced a high demand for natural gas which lead to some of its larger customers switching to alternative fuel sources.


Nichols said that when there is a high demand on natural gas like there was earlier this week, the city’s large industrial customers switch to alternative fuel sources. This enables the city to meet the increased demand of residential and other small customers for heat. He said the city’s large industrial customers mainly use the natural gas they get from the city in their production processes and are able switch over to back up systems in high demand situations.


While it is not an industrial customer, the Union County School District is also a large customer of the city’s natural gas system. In a move to help the city cope with the increased demand for natural gas, the district turned down the thermostats in the schools on Tuesday.


Bruce Parker, T&D Manager for Lockhart Power said that except for a momentary interruption in the Jonesville area, the company experience no problems.


Parker said the interruption in the Jonesville area occurred when a piece of equipment failed causing a temporary fault before backups kicked in. He said the interruption last only three seconds.


Josh Crotzer, Member Services Coordinator for Broad River Electric Cooperative, said the company had no outages due to the weather.


Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

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