CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Winter weather preparations are underway across the Lowcountry with the potential for freezing rain and ice Friday into Saturday. From the roads to power lines, officials are working to make sure everyone remains safe.
Officials from Charleston to Georgetown Counties are preparing staff and equipment to be able to respond if needed during the storm , all while officials with Dominion Energy and Santee Cooper are putting crews on standby if there are power outages.
“We’re definitely looking at it, we’ve got a little bit of time but we’re coordinating with the National Weather Service,” says Shannon Scaff, Director of Emergency Management for the City of Charleston.
Lowcountry leaders are testing snowplows and getting sand and salt ready to treat the roads in the event they ice over.
“They have sand trucks ready and motor graders ready in case we need to scrape ice off and be able to condition the roads,” says Joe Coates, Director of Emergency Management for Charleston County.
Charleston, Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties are likely to open emergency management centers but say they’re taking a wait and see approach.
“Those crews that would be deploying all of that are already on standby,” says Scaff. “We’ve got everything kind of where we want it right now and ready to go, it’s really just a matter of waiting to see what happens with the system.”
The winter weather threat has power giants like Santee Cooper and Dominion Energy mobilizing teams. They’re prepping trucks and crews to get ahead of the storm but Spokesperson Paul Fischer with Dominion Energy says power outages could still happen.
“Frozen precipitation and ice that could accumulate on trees and tree limbs could certainly present significant challenges and the potential for power outages,” says Fischer.
The officials and electric companies urge people to check social media and official websites while staying away from downed power lines and off the roads.
“We stand ready and we want our customers to be ready as well,” says Fischer.
Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties are under a Winter Storm Watch starting Friday. Charleston County, City of Charleston Officials and others plan to hold a conference call tomorrow to finalize plans. The South Carolina Department of Transportation held a meeting Wednesday afternoon to finalize response plans.