SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — Officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) said Wednesday they are preparing for a potential winter storm and hazardous road conditions this weekend.
While forecasts models vary and are subject to change, SCDOT said it has initiated its winter storm operations plan to prepare for a “worst-case scenario” of winter weather conditions.
Officials said current plans include anti-icing pretreatments on priority roads and bridges beginning as early as Thursday, January 13, 2022, in areas of the state with the highest probability for winter weather.
Priority routes consist of all interstates and routes that are essential to the movement of traffic, many of which service emergency facilities.
Officials say SCDOT workers in high probability areas will shift to 24 hour operations throughout the duration of the storm.
Additional SCDOT personnel and equipment will be shifted from non-impacted areas to impacted areas to assist with ice and snow removal operations.
During the event, officials say crews will continue to apply de-icing materials as conditions warrant, along with plowing operations.
SCDOT already has 60,000 tons of salt, over 525,000 gallons of salt brine as well as approximately 275,000 gallons of ice breaking chemicals on hand.
Winter storm operations will continue in impacted counties until roads are clear.
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While transportation officials say crews are ready and will be out working to clear roads if a winter storm event materializes, they warn driving during and after rain, ice, or snow can still be very dangerous.
SCDOT officials urge motorists to avoid travel during winter weather events as snow and ice can be hazardous.
If you must travel, officials ask you to use extreme caution, reduce speeds, stay clear of road crews performing clearing and de-icing operations, and approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution as they will accumulate ice first. Remember black ice that can form on roads and bridges at night from melting snow.
“The safest solution is for drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible," Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall said. "If you must drive, slow down and watch for crews performing de-icing and plowing operations.” Hall added that salt spreaders and snow plows move at slow speeds to completely cover the roadways.
For additional winter storm resources and road conditions, please visit the South Carolina Department Transportation website: www.scdot.org.