South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster provided an update on the winter storm that impacted the Palmetto State Wednesday.
Speaking from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, McMaster shared the outlook on the weather that has already hit South Carolina, and what’s to come after after meeting with state and county emergency management officials.
While snow was the talk of the state much of the day, the greatest concern McMaster shared was about the temperature. Specifically, what the sub-freezing numbers on thermometers will mean for South Carolina, especially the areas that experienced significant snowfall.
“It is cold, cold, cold and it’s going to stay cold,” McMaster said of the freezing temperatures which could stretch through Monday.
McMaster urged people to stay indoors. He provided details on the forecast with some chilling figures.
The governor said high temps on Thursday in the Upstate could be 37 degrees, while the Lowcountry is expected to be just above freezing. Midlands residents will need to be sure to bundle up, as McMaster said temperatures in Richland, Lexington, Kershaw counties and beyond are predicted to be 25 degrees.
In the aftermath of snowfall, the Coastal region, up through Orangeburg and Richland counties are the primary areas of focus for the Department of Public Safety, according to director Leroy Smith.
“If you’re in impacted areas, please stay home,” said Smith, adding there have been no winter weather-related fatalities at this time.
According to the National Weather Service representative at the news conference, there is the chance of more snow to come, but the threat of ice has ended. Overall, 4-6 inches of snow accumulation could occur in Lowcountry. Some areas could see even higher.
Once snow ends, there is concern of breezy conditions on the coast which could mean potential for power outages.
Although the threat of precipitation in the form of ice isn’t forecast, that doesn’t mean it won’t be something to worry about on the ground.
“Several bridges on the coast are frozen over,” said South Carolina Department of Transportation director Christy Hall, who urged patience. “More than 1,400 employees have been deployed.”
While South Carolina is dealing with the impact of the cold weather and snowstorm, the S.C. National Guard has been in contact with counterparts in Georgia and North Carolina in case help is needed.
“We do not have a state of emergency right now,” said SC Emergency Management Division director Kim Stenson. “There are currently nine shelters open.”
About 15 people currently are being sheltered, that number is expected to grow.