FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Because of this week’s winter storm, Fairfield Central School District and Fairfield County offices have been closed since Tuesday.
At press time, Fairfield County deputy administrator Davis Anderson told The Herald Independent that the county would remain closed Friday because of hazardous driving conditions on the county’s secondary roads.
“SCDOT has not touched any of the secondary roads because they’re paying so much attention to the interstates,” he explained.
Anderson noted the shortage of salt used for deicing purposes.
“This storm has really crippled them (SCDOT),” he said.
Hazardous roadways are expected through Friday morning, because of lingering snow, sleet and ice along with moisture from any melting that has taken place will refreeze. SCDOT advises motorists not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
Anderson said that because of the low temperatures predicted for Thursday night, county offices would remain closed.
“Even if the temperatures rises on Friday, motorists will still have to deal with the slush in the road,” he noted. “It is still going to be hazardous on Friday and conditions won’t be better until this weekend.”
The ice began melting Thursday, which eased the number of customers without power, although there were still around 330,000 homes and businesses in South Carolina without power in the early afternoon Thursday.
The number specific to Fairfield County is still unknown, but Anderson specified locations in the central part of the county including Greenbrier, Mill Village and even some homes off Congress Street that experienced loss of power for short periods of time.
Electric crews planned to work through the weekend to restore power.
Fairfield County Emergency Management Department’s Phyllis Watkins said power outages are sporadic throughout the county, but did not know an exact number of residents affected by the outages.
She encouraged citizens to call the sheriff’s office and their power provider to report the outage.
SCE&G customers who experience an outage should call 888-333-4465.
Fairfield County emergency services have been dispatched for some assistance including a fallen tree and dispensing kerosene to elderly citizens. With the exception of a fatal wreck (see page 3), Anderson did not have any serious injuries to report.
Watkins advised all residents to stay indoors because of the icy conditions on the roads and noted that the power outages have been for only short periods of time. As a precautionary measure though, the emergency management department set up a warming station for citizens in need.
“We set up a temporary warming station just in case someone needs to stay warm,” Watkins stated.
The station is located at the Fairfield County EMS headquarters. Watkins said the emergency management department selected the EMS site because there is an extra room with a back-up generator.
Watkins noted that there had only been one inquiry to use the warming station and then that person’s power came back on.
If you, or someone you know is in need of a temporary warming station, call 803-635-5511.
Anderson explained that the closures have not had a significant impact on county business.
“Because the county and government was shut down, people were not moving anyway,” he said. “All our emergency personnel worked as normal.”
The county’s day to day businesses for non-essential employees was shut down for liability concerns.
“With this much ice and snow, if we have someone slip and injure their self on the county court steps or anywhere else, we can be held liable for that,” Anderson advised. “It actually can be more risky for us to open up to the general public.”
For the most up to date information about closures or delays, county employees can call the weather hotline at 803-815-WORK (9675).
Fairfield County deputies are available to assist residents in need, if you are in need of assistance call 803-635-4141.