Upstate Emergency Responders Prepare for Winter Weather - WSPA.com

Upstate Emergency Responders Prepare for Winter Weather

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. - When experts predict winter weather the Department of Transportation begins to work on keeping you safe on the roads. Plans are also in place for other agencies that help when bad weather hits.

Jamie Willis, an Upstate mom who we found picking up a few items at a convenience store in Spartanburg said she remembers the winter weather that hit just about two weeks ago. She said she also learned a thing or two driving in it.

“ I mean there was a lot of black ice out on the road and a lot of slipping and sliding so we try not to go anywhere,” she said.

With a possibility of snow and ice in the forecast the SCDOT tells us they'll coat the roads with brine as early as Monday morning before the ground freezes. Officials said they're still replenishing supplies from the last storm.

Spokesperson Jason Allison said crews may go through up to 2000 tons of brine with each bout of bad weather. He said it’s hauling it up from the stockpile in Columbia that becomes an issue.

Billy Perrell was gassing up Sunday after a trip to see his family in North Carolina. He said he saw signs to watch for trucks salting.

“They had the signs up saying they were already doing the pre-icing treatment for the upcoming weather,” he said.

Emergency management officials in counties across the Upstate say they'll finalize plans on Monday morning too. Greenville County officials said hundreds of accidents in the last storm put a strain on the Highway Patrol.

When temperatures dip low, county officials said opening cold weather shelters may be necessary.

Spokesperson John Wareham for the Red Cross Western Carolinas Region said Red Cross Shelter Operations Response Teams are ready.

“They are trained and prepared to set up shelters, warming shelters in a moments notice,” Wareham said.

Parents like Amanda Caldwell tell us the sooner they know about school closings the better. She said she won't risk a trip to school in bad weather.

“Even if it's delayed two hours, if you think it's too dangerous, you don't go,” said Caldwell.

Parrell said he’s driven long distances for years with his job and said even experienced drivers agree, no trip is worth risking your life.

“That’s the key watching out for other drivers, as much as we all feel were comfortable you have to be cautious,” said Perrell.

SCDOT Officials tell us there's no issue with the amount of brine in the state but getting it up to the Upstate with limited trucks can be difficult.

Officials said many of the trucks that typically deliver the mixture were shipped off to help snarled traffic in Atlanta.

Crews said Sunday they'll hit the roads Monday and have a skeleton crew work through the night to make sure interstates and secondary roads are taken care of.

Emergency management officials said they keep an eye on temperatures to determine if a cold weather shelter needs to be set up. Officials said, when people are forced to use unsafe ways to heat their home in a power outage, it can cause a fire.


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