UNION COUNTY — By the time it reached Union County Hurricane Florence was a Tropical Storm but that didn’t prevent it from causing scattered power outages throughout the county including one that left more than 1,200 households without power for two hours.
According to Meteorologist Doug Outlaw with the National Weather Service in Greer, Union County received 2.5 to 3 inches of rain from the remnants of Florence with the following areas receiving the following amounts:
• 2.5-2.6 inches in the southwestern part of the county along the Laurens County line.
• 2.7 inches just north of Whitmire.
• 2.98 inches in the Union and Buffalo areas.
• 3.09 inches in the Lockhart area.
Outlaw added that the National Weather Service had received no reports of flooding in Union County.
While Florence may not have caused any flooding in the county, the winds it generated nevertheless toppled some trees onto power lines causing some power outages over the weekend beginning Friday night.
Broad River Electric Cooperative Manger of Member Communications and Programs Josh Crotzer said a total of 3,000 customers throughout the BREC system experienced outages during the storm. Crotzer said this included 1,279 in Union County who were without power for two hours due to a tree falling across powers lines on SC 18. He said the outage in that area was one of eight outages the BREC system experienced in Union County during the storm and that all were the result of trees toppled by the winds and rains generated by Florence.
City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols said the city system experienced only a few outages over the weekend with only a few customers affected each time. Nichols said that the most customers affected by any one outage was four with power usually restored quickly in each instance. He said the only exception was an outage on the Sardis Road on Sunday involving a primary line that had be dug up and spliced. In that instance, Nichols said power was off for most of that afternoon with the outage affecting two customers.
Nichols said the outages were due mainly to trees falling across power lines or, in other cases, tree limbs blown by the winds generated by the storm touching the lines. He said he feels the number of outages was low because the storm had weakened by the time it reached Union County and by the fact that the city has worked hard to keep trees near its power lines trimmed.
“We were fortunate our tree trimming crews have done a good job trimming back the trees and keeping them off the lines,” Nichols said Tuesday morning.
Lockhart Power COO Bryan Stone said that a total of eight people on the Lockhart system were affected by storm-related outages over the weekend and that power was usually restored within two hours or less.
The weather will be clear in Union County for much of the next week, but hot for most of that time.
Outlaw said Tuesday that there are no chances of precipitation expected for Union County until late Sunday afternoon when there will be a 20-25 percent chance of showers and potential thunderstorms. He said temperatures will be above normal Wednesday with highs of 88-90 then a little bit cooler on Thursday and Friday with highs of 86-88. Temperatures will reach 88 on Saturday and 86 on Sunday. Monday will be cooler with temperatures topping out at 82, but Tuesday will see a warm up with a high of 86.
There are no signs of significantly cooling in Union County until late next week when Outlaw said highs will be around 80 and lows around 60.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.