Upstate agencies, schools prepare for wintry weather


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Storm Team 7 has been tracking a system that could bring snow across the Upstate and Western North Carolina.

The predicted snow had local agencies and school districts on high alert Wednesday afternoon.

Plans and weather crews are in place to keep drivers and students safe, should the roads get slick.

The threat of inclement weather starts a chain reaction for school officials, South Carolina Highway Patrol and the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

“The big two questions with this are when and how much. That timing element is big for us.” Spartanburg District Five’s Melissa Robinette said.

If the weather changes in the middle of the school day, administrators said their concern turns to safety and road conditions and wanting to make sure buses and cars can safely travel on the roadways.

“There is this delicate balance of waiting long enough to have accurate information about the temperatures, but not waiting so long that parents don’t have time to plan in case we do close,” Greenville County Schools’ Beth Brotherton said.

With thousands of students, faculty and staff across the Upstate, getting everybody home safely when winter weather hits can be a challenge for school officials and highway patrol.

“If the roads are really really icy it’s not uncommon to to come onto a shift and have over 100 accidents in the CAD,” South Carolina Highway Patrol’s Trooper Joe Hovis said.

SCDOT and school officials will send out their ice teams Thursday and Friday mornings to check roads and make sure travel conditions are safe.

“Knowing that the ice team is on alert and ready to go out on the road and check those areas that are most common trouble spots. The areas that ice or that we’ve seen problems in the past.” Brotherton said.

School systems and first responders encourage parents and the public to stay engaged, to be proactive and to always make decisions in the interest of safety first.

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