BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Many Lowcountry residents were without power Wednesday due to an early morning fire at a power substation in downtown Bluffton.
Officials said the outage was caused by an “equipment failure” in the Santee Cooper – Bluffton Transmission substation.
Roughly 64,000 residents lost power in Beaufort County, with some areas of Jasper and Hampton counties also impacted.
It made a mess of the morning commute for a couple of hours as crews made temporary repairs to get everyone back online. The Beaufort County School District expected some bus delays. Meanwhile, emergency services remained active.
“When there was that failure in Santee Cooper’s switching system, safety mechanisms shut it down so it didn’t cause more damage,” said Tray Hunter with Palmetto Electric, which provides electric service to the area.
“Equipment failures, in general, can happen on the system,” said Nicole Aiello with Santee Cooper. “It’s something we regularly review our equipment and take action items to replace that equipment in order to avoid things like this.”
Santee Cooper said they’ll complete a full investigation to see what happened to their piece of equipment. The goal, officials said, is to simply make sure it doesn’t happen again.