Co-op shares outage update and story of heroic linemen

L to R: Scott Lee and Steve Pendleton (provided)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Officials with the The Electric Cooperatives of S.C. released their latest outage numbers Wednesday along with a heroic story about one of their linemen.

According to Van O'Cain with the ECSC, statewide electric co-op outages have dropped from 144,000 to only 7,135.

Edisto Electric still has 1,235 outages. Santee Electric Co-op serving the Georgetown area still has 5,129. The remaining outages are in Aiken.

Some outages not included in the update were Berkeley Electric Co-op which as of 11 a.m. had 23 outages affecting only 75 customers. SCE&G reported 260 total outages with 13 in Charleston, 41 in Dorchester and 57 in Orangeburg.

Along with the new numbers, O'Cain shared the story of an accident that happened on Highway 521 near Foreston, S.C.

Steve Pendleton, on the right in the attached photo, is one of the hundreds of out-of-state lineman who came to S.C. last week to help Santee Electric Cooperative in its power restoration efforts.{} He'd only been on the job for about three hours when he had a brush with death.

As Pendleton and his crew were working along Highway 521 near the town of Foreston, they heard a car approaching at a high rate of speed.{} That car struck another car in the road, then spun around.{} It was heading toward Pendleton when Santee Electric Cooperative lineman Scott Lee grabbed Pendleton and pulled him out of the way.{} The car grazed Pendleton on his left side.{} He later learned that he'd actually broken his knee cap.{} But instead of heading back to his home and his children in North Carolina to recuperate, Pendleton stayed in S.C. and was back on the job site the next day!

"We appreciate Pendleton for his determination to stay and help our power crews get the job done," O'Cain said. "He has now returned home for follow-up care with his doctor, and we wish him a speedy recovery.{} We also thank Lee for his quick thinking and willingness to help out a fellow crew member to avoid a tragic situation."