Winter storm warning continues

By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

February 12, 2014

FAIRFIELD COUNTY —The winter storm warning remains in effect until 12 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 13) for the Midlands and Fairfield County.

Hazard types of weather include snow, sleet and freezing rain with dangerous accumulations.

Sleet and snow accumulations are predicted to reach four to eight inches in the northern midlands.

Residents should expect an occasional wintry mix for the next several hours. For the next six hours, a mixture of wintry precipitation with temperatures steady near the upper 20’s. Winds are blowing northeast at 15 to 20 mph. Additional snowfall less than half an inch through 5:30 p.m.

Throughout the evening, freezing rain will change to a wintry mix overnight. Significant icing is likely, with temperatures dropping to 27 degrees and rising to near freezing. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph.

According to the S.C. Department of Transportation, snowfall has accumulated from 1 to 3 inches with varying amounts locally with freezing rain in the upper and lower areas of the state. Conditions of roads and bridges are deteriorating rapidly. With temperatures falling statewide this morning most roads will remain hazardous throughout the morning. Travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary or as otherwise noted below. SCDOT forces are working continuously on rotating 12-hour shifts applying salt and other anti-icing/deicing materials throughout the storm.

Engineering District 4 (Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union, and York Counties) – Temperatures in District Four are ranging between 27 and 32 degrees. Most counties are reporting road conditions as wet. Priority routes and bridges continue to be treated as needed with anti-icing materials and equipment.

Salt from the Columbia salt dome is being distributed throughout the state as required. Salt is also being picked up from the salt supplier in Charleston and distributed throughout the state. The SCDOT Call Center will be staffed from 6 a.m. till 7 p.m. throughout the event at 855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368) toll free or 803-737-2314. Routes will be cleared in the following priorities: interstate routes, primary routes (US and SC designated routes) and secondary routes (Farm to market roads, etc.)

Motorists are encouraged to stay off the road and stay insides. Roadways will get worse as the day goes on. Power outages are possible and residents should have emergency numbers on hand. The number for the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office is 803-635-4141.

It is also recommended for residents to bring pets inside and check on elderly neighbors.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

A winter storm warning means snow, sleet or freezing rain meeting warning criteria is likely. Warning criteria is at least 2 inches of snow or sleet or at least 1/4 of an inch of freezing rain.

If you encounter downed power lines, do not touch the lines because you could be electrocuted. Report downed power lines to Law enforcement or the power company. Report downed power lines to law enforcement or the power company. Prepare to remain in a safe shelter without electricity for many hours.

If you absolutely must travel you may want to consider the following safety tips. Plan plenty of extra time, drive slowly and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Brake gently and avoid making sudden turns. Bring the following with you in case you get stranded: food, water, blanket, windshield scrapper and brush and first aid kit. Let Someone else know when you will travel and what routes you will take.