SC governor declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

SC governor declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBIA, SC (WBTV) -

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley declared a State of Emergency due to the forecasted winter weather that impacted the state Tuesday.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and members of the State Emergency Response Team have activated the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center at Operation Condition 3. The SEOC will remain activated for the duration of this event. 
 
OpCon 3 is the state's prepared level when a disaster or emergency situation is likely. The South Carolina Emergency Operations Plan and the appropriate specific impact hazard emergency plan is activated.
 
Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered all state government offices to follow county government closing decisions; meaning if a county administration decides to close for the day, state offices in that county will automatically follow the same schedule.

SCEMD is urging everyone to take proper safety measures to handle frozen precipitation, hazardous road conditions and extremely cold temperatures.
 
Currently:
 
• The South Carolina Department of Transportation has crews salting roads throughout the state.  Conditions on many roadways are expected to be extremely hazardous.  You are urged not to drive unless absolutely necessary.

• The South Carolina Highway Patrol is sending additional personnel to staging areas, including resources from the State Law Enforcement Division and the Department of Natural Resources. 

Although traffic is light at this point, there have been reports of accidents and disabled motorists.

• SC National Guard soldiers are standing by to assist first responders and state agencies should additional support be needed. 

• SC Department of Social Services staff, American Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteers are standing by to operate shelters should they become necessary.

• State Office of Regulatory Staff is working with the power utilities to track potential power outages and restoration time estimates should the storm cause power outages.  The power companies report their preparedness for the storm is high; however, if you lose power, you are urged to report the outage to you utility. 

• The State Fire Marshal's Office and SC Forestry Commission are standing by to provide personnel and vehicle support as requested. 

Officials in York County are asking drivers to slow down and take extra precautions while on the road this evening.

Officials say drivers shouldn't be in a hurry out on the roads, and should change speeds slowly.

Also, give yourself plenty of room between you and the car in front of you, so you don't slide into the back of another car.

Officials recommend keeping a blanket and a bottle of water in your car, just in case you become stranded. Also make sure your cell phone is fully charged or have a charging cord in your car.

Private tow companies are on standby in Rock Hill, ready to help stranded drivers. Noah Cornell said the back-roads are giving people the most trouble.

"I've been riding around seeing if I can render any help. With the snow and the ice on the roads, I've been just seeing if anybody needs help, you know, getting cars of a ditch or whatever," Cornell said. 

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