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South Carolina lighthouse to get modern lighting system

December 31, 2018

SULLIVANS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina lighthouse will likely remain dark for another month or so as workers overhaul its lighting system.

The original light in the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse went dark in November.

The Coast Guard reviewed repair options, and determined the old system was cumbersome, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. James Zorn told The Post and Courier .

“Finding the parts to repair it was a challenge,” Zorn said. “It’s like fixing an accordion.”

So officials decided to replace it with a modern light.

“It will be a completely different system, the same or better capability as the existing one. And much smaller,” Zorn said.

The surprising good news for the workers removing the old lighting system and installing the new one is the 162-foot (49-meter) tall lighthouse built in 1962 has an elevator.

The lighthouse, also called the Charleston Light, was the last lighthouse built in the United States. When it was first turned on, the light was so bright that technicians had to don asbestos welding suits.

After complaints that it was too bright, the light was dimmed some.

The Coast Guard operates the light in the lighthouse, while the structure and the land around it has been owned by the National Park Service since 2008.

Even after detailed maps, radio and GPS replaced the need for the lighthouse, the romanticism remains.

“It will be great to see it working again,” said Dawn Davis, spokeswoman for Fort Sumter National Monument. “We get lots of inquiries.”




Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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