Winter weather impacts residents, travelers across the state

jself@thestate.comJanuary 28, 2014 

Emergency officials are urging drivers to stay off the roadways to avoid “extremely hazardous” conditions from ice and snow.

State government offices are closed in most counties Wednesday. Aiken, Chester, Greenville, Horry, Pickens and Union open at noon. Laurens opens at 1 p.m. Check for the most recent status updates on government office closings at scemd.org.

"The concern right now will be what happens during the day, if there is any freezing rain or precipitation during the day," said Derrec Becker, spokesman with the S.C. Emergency Management Division.

As of 4 a.m., the Transportation Department had 1,389 road maintenance employees dispatched, had used 8,205 tons of salt, 1,648 tons of sand, 43,145 gallons of calcium chloride, and 61,965 gallons of salt brine, and had 662 vehicles in use.

The S.C. Highway Patrol responded to 1,240 incidents as of 7:30 a.m. related to the weather.

About 18,000 power customers were without power by 1 a.m., Decker said. But utility crews worked through the night to address the outages. That number was at about 4,600 at 6 a.m.

Five counties opened temporary overnight shelters: Beaufort, Calhoun, Colleton, Orangeburg, and Williamsburg.

Four S.C. National Guard wrecker teams were dispatched overnight to help the S.C. Highway Patrol assist motorists. Emergency officials started conference calls with state agencies before 7 a.m. to get reports of the statewide impact of the storm. Thirty-two National Guardsman have been placed on state active duty, in support of the traffic response activities and transportation for first responders if needed.

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