Class is back in session during Hurricane Matthew thanks to Cat® Rental Power

Customer: Horry County School District

Location: Conway, South Carolina, USA 

Customer Business Issue: Generator power needed in order to reopen schools affected by storms 


  • One Cat® XQ800 mobile generator set 
  • One Cat XQ400 mobile generator set 
  • One Cat XQ100 mobile generator set 

Cat® Dealer: Blanchard Power Systems


Dennis McCrary turned to Cat dealer Blanchard to provide rental generators to help power Green Sea Floyds elementary and high schools.

Hurricane Matthew


Before Hurricane Matthew hit the Myrtle Beach area in October 2016, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley mandated that all schools close in Horry County.

In all, those area schools were preventatively closed for eight days. When it was deemed safe to reopen, two schools were still without power. Dennis McCrary, project management coordinator for the Horry County School District, determined generator power was necessary to reopen the affected schools. 


“I made a phone call in the afternoon to Blanchard Power Systems and by sundown the following day they had all three generators we required, all of our hookup cables and everything was in place where it needed to be,” McCrary said. “Our staff came in on Saturday morning, and by 10 a.m. they were all running.” 


Three rental generators helped power two Green Sea Floyds schools. A Blanchard rental power representative helped McCrary determine the size of generators he needed, as well as the proper cabling. 

“They provided us with everything we needed,” McCrary noted. “Our in-house electricians connected everything, and the power company came out to inspect it and disconnect us from the grid. Then the Cat service technician arrived and started everything up.” 

As the largest county east of the Mississippi River with 45,000 students and 55 schools, the Horry County School District serves as a Red Cross emergency shelter at several school locations, which also required reliable power. 

Based on the experience with Hurricane Matthew, the district is applying for a grant to install automatic transfer switches at several of the schools designated as shelters, which will make connecting a mobile generator even simpler.

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