SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA)- In what is the coldest Christmas the Upstate has seen in decades, power outages are rippling across the area and leaving thousands without power.

Officials with Duke Energy said wind gusts impacted powerlines and transformers on Friday, bringing down tree limbs and branches along the way.

As the extreme winter weather continues to chill the Carolinas, the company announced Saturday that it’s imposing rolling power outages in both states on Christmas Eve because of an increased strain on the energy grid.

They said these on-purpose blackouts will last 15-30 minutes and they’re necessary to protect the power grid against longer and more widespread outages.

Duke Energy is also continuing to ask people to conserve energy to help avoid rotating outages during the morning on Christmas Day.

Yet the cold weather not only left Upstate residents with power outages but for some, bursting water pipes.

“The single mother downstairs, they are confused about what to do,” said Jose Martinez, Greenville County. “For us, for Hispanic people, today is Christmas so I don’t think it’s a happy Christmas for anyone.”

Jose said he witnessed the water pipe at his apartment complex on Woodruff Road burst and didn’t know what was happening.

“I moved out of the way because I thought it was going to explode because it sounded like a crack,” said Martinez. “I was afraid something was going to happen with the wall.”

Now, after making phone calls all day, he said he and his neighbors are scared for what’s to come.

“So I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Martinez. “We have to go and pay for our own hotel, which is not fair because this apartment is very expensive.”

7NEWS has reached out to first responders and other officials about bursting pipes across the Upstate. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

Duke Energy is asking people to be patient as their crews continue to work. You can see an outage map and estimated repair times online, on Duke Energy’s website.