Horry Electric Cooperative has announced Online Outage Map as an easy way to see what power outages may have happened near you.
The interactive map refreshes every five minutes and can help you determine when an outage may be rectified.
Technically speaking, the online application is using a reliable set of technologies that means it can be used on any number of computing devices that have a connection to the Internet, including smart phones with decent browsers and tablets like the Apple iPad. Makes sense considering your home may not have electricity when you'd really like to use this tool.
The good news for Horry Electric is it may alleviate the bombardment of phone inquiries that happen when the lights go out. That said, Horry Electric does encourage you to report power outages by phone using their PowerTouch system.
Horry Electric Cooperative has made an impressive effort to engage their customers online. They maintain a lively Facebook page (how I learned about this new tool, actually) and Twitter presence. They also have a lesser updated YouTube channel. Not bad for a little local utility company.