City officials preparing for round two of winter weather - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

City officials preparing for round two of winter weather

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

South Carolinians are once again preparing for a winter storm.

"This is almost like déjà vu again from a couple of weeks ago when we had inclement weather," said Keller Kissam, SCE&G's president of retail operations.

But things are a little different this time.

"This time around it's more concern with the accumulation of ice," said Capt. Larry Johnson with the Columbia Police Department. Johnson is also on the city's Emergency Operations Division.

"It's a little more concerning when you're talking about ice," added Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson.

The City of Columbia is ready for the ice, sleet, and snow that could come with the storm. 

"Salt's ready to go, the sand's ready to go, the brine's being mixed," said Robert Anderson, director of Columbia Public Works.

Crews will be out treating roads, but getting rid of the ice can be tricky.

"We will have our four sand spreaders out, and we may continue to run our brine trucks. We wish we could put our eight snow plows on the road, but they will be ineffective," said Anderson.

Ice also causes issues for SCE&G crews.

"It's really the frozen rain and icing that causes the difficulty we have on our system," explained Kissam.

SCE&G will be getting some out-of-state help for this storm.

"We have about 140 contract linemen and other investor-owned utilities who will be arriving on our system," said Kissam.

They'll also have support from SCE&G crews in other parts of the state.

"Last time it was Columbia crews heading to Charleston, this time it appears it will be coastal crews that will come up here to provide that support as well," said Kissam.

In Columbia, city leaders work together to make sure all aspects of storm coverage are handled.

"They all sit at the same table and we all work through the same situation together," said Johnson.

"It is not a regular occurrence, and so obviously we have to treat these situations as the events they are, and encourage people to stay off the roads," added Wilson.

No matter what their role during the storm, the officials and crews all have the same goal: keeping people in the Midlands safe.

Experts suggest having flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and blankets in your home and vehicle.

If you need to report a power outage to SCE&G, call 1-888-333-4465.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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