SC electric cooperative crews go to Virginia ahead of ice storm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- Electric cooperatives from South Carolina will travel to Virginia Saturday morning in advance of severe winter weather expected in the state.

According to a release, ice, snow and sleet have already knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of residents in the middle of the country.

"The weather in Virginia may turn bad Sunday morning," saidTodd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The ElectricCooperatives of South Carolina. "We're purposefully sending our crewsearly.{} If ice damages the systems there,we'll be ready to help restore power as soon as possible."

In all, seven electric cooperatives from South Carolina will send support to Virginia. Crews from Aiken Electric Cooperative in Aiken, BerkeleyElectric Cooperative in Monks Corner and Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative inPickens are leaving{} Saturday morning and will assist SouthsideElectric Cooperative in Crewe, Virginia, which is 57 miles outside of Richmond.

Additional crews leave Saturday for Millboro, Virginia,located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Employees fromLynches River Electric Cooperative in Pageland, Newberry Electric Cooperativein Newberry, Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Ridgeland and Santee ElectricCooperative, in Kingstree, will assist BARC Electric Cooperative if the winterstorm damages its system.

According to the release, the crews could be in Virginia for up to seven days.