A winter storm crossing South Carolina today will whittle highs that were in the upper 60s on Monday down to the lower 30s on Tuesday and Wednesday.
And with the temperature plunge will come a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow.
Frezing rain is expected to turn to snow about mid-day, and the National Weather Service predicts an accumulation of 2 to 4 inches.
State Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker tells WVOC, “Everything that we're being told from the weather forecasters is that this is going to be a very quick storm. So it's not necessary to run out and go buy bread and milk very quickly – only if you're out – but go ahead and make sure your pantry is stocked with non-perishable supplies, food clothing, extra blankets, fuel – things that you would normally use that will last long after the snow melts.”
That melting may not get going until later in the week, however, with temperatures expected to stay below freezing until Thursday.
Becker advises that you limit travel when the icy conditions begin, and says if you must be on the road, be sure to have extra clothing and blankets in the vehicle in case you get stranded.
Road crews around the state have already been gearing up for slippery travel conditions.
“We have salt and sand mixed together,” says Robert Sweatt, superintendent of the Streets Division for the City of Columbia.
“We also make brine as a pretreatment to put on the roads and we've already been in the process of putting some of that out. We have all of our trucks already loaded, snowplows on. We have a total of 8 snowplows, 4 sand spreaders and 2 brine spreaders.”
Among other emergency preparations being made, the City of Columbia again will operate public “warming stations” on a 24-hour basis starting at 2 p.m. and going through noon Thursday.
The “warming stations” are a courtesy service provided by the city for individuals or families who may find they need access to additional heating sources during the freezing temperatures.
The locations will be at Hyatt Park on Jackson Avenue and at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Greene Street.
Several school districts and government offices plan early closings today or being closed the entire day.
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