by Paul Bowers
UPDATE: At least 12 schools in Charleston County School District are reporting power outages this morning. Click here to read more.
With temperatures still hovering in the 10s and 20s statewide, utility company S.C. Electric & Gas has been temporarily shutting off power in rolling blackouts across its service area, which includes much of the Midlands and Lowcountry.
According to a release on SCE&G's website, the company's electric system "is experiencing high demand" and "has lost part of its generating capacity due to weather driven mechanical issues at several of its power plants." Outages have been reported to last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in some locations, despite the fact that the release states outages can be expected to last no more than 15 minutes at a time. Customers are being asked to "turn off and unplug non-essential appliances and conserve energy as much as possible."
SCE&G is not saying exactly when and where outages will occur, but according to a map on their website, there have been about 17,800 customer outages in Charleston County, 3,700 in Dorchester County, and 220 in Berkeley County. Statewide, the total number of outages is over 52,000.