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Weekend winter weather has power companies on high alert in the Midlands

Power crews are refueling vehicles and getting gear together for the anticipated winter storm.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Winter weather in South Carolina is finally making an appearance.  

While many hope to see that white stuff falling from the sky, local power and utility companies are hoping that snow and ice stay away. If not, they say they are prepared. 

Four days out from Sunday's cold snap, power crews are refueling vehicles and getting gear together for the anticipated winter storm. 

Fairfield Electric Co-op is doing just that ahead of the possible severe weather.  

RELATED: Winter storm watch issued for three Midlands counties ahead of potential weather this weekend

Doug Payne, vice-president of Fairfield Electric Co-op, says it's critical they prepare ahead of time. 

"We don't see ice storms on a regular basis, but when we do, it's a difficult chore to repair power in icy road conditions," Payne said. "Freezing rain is the worst case scenario for us."

Payne says when ice accumulates on tree limbs, it puts pressure on branches, which can cause them to fall on power lines. "That weight of that freezing rain, is just difficult. It causes a tremendous amount of damage."

Dominion Energy spokesperson Matt Long says crews work year-round to prepare for all weather events. 

"It only takes about a quarter inch [of ice] to damage power lines," said Long.

RELATED: Here's how to prepare for the severe winter weather headed to Richland County

Long says preparation is key, advising homeowners to have a flashlight, first aid kit, non-perishable food and bottled water on hand in case they lose power. 

"You just have to be prepared for a worst case scenario, just like we are preparing for a potential worse case scenario and hoping for the best, " said Long.