Early Sunday morning, Aug. 25, darkness veiled the entire city of Loris. First the electrical power dimmed lights starting at 2:15 a.m., the power completely went out minutes later.
Lights throughout Loris were out, traffic signals were out. The street lights lining Main Street from Broad Street to Railroad Avenue were illuminating the street and stores. Hardee’s, NAPA and the convenience store at Board and Main had emergency lights shining inside the buildings. The generator at Hills Grocery Store was running keeping the power to the freezers going. Mostly darkness plagued the city.
The number of vehicles on the road early in the morning was surprising. Riding through the city with no lights is difficult when approaching a traffic signal very few of the drivers made a four-way stop assuring traffic was not driving through the darkened traffic lights. No accidents were reported.
During the black out two Loris police cruisers had stopped a vehicle on Walnut Street. They searched the vehicle and made an arrest and impounded the vehicle. Screams could be heard as the LPD drove away.
Speedway was locked down leaving customers needing gasoline in the lurch. One customer had paid the cashier prior to the outage. By the time they returned to the pump the power went out and the pump would not work.
Nearly everything depends upon electrical power to work including pumping gas, cash registers, portable home phones, motion detector lights and low cost home/business security systems.
Santee Cooper spokesperson Tracy Vreeland reported that a transformer on Highway 701 South at the Pine Level substation was struck by lightning. Crews quickly responded and replaced the transformer within 37 minutes and the lights throughout the city were restored.
Many residents were sleeping during the outage and were not aware of the outage until they saw the clocks flashing on their appliances as they prepared to go to church.