State Trooper: "These roads are in really poor condition" - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

State Trooper: "These roads are in really poor condition"

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Trooper David Jones interviewed on WIS News 10 Sunrise Trooper David Jones interviewed on WIS News 10 Sunrise

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is warning people to stay off the roads Wednesday morning.

"These roads are in really poor condition around the Midlands," said Lcpl. David Jones, who was on the roads as early as 2:30 a.m. "Stay home if at all possible."

"A simple task such as coming to a complete stop was difficult," he said.

Sleet and freezing rain began falling in the Midlands early Wednesday morning. Tuesday Governor Nikki Haley declared a state of emergency and warned people to stay off the roads.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division says "all motorists are urged to stay off the road."

"SCDOT will focus on keeping highways passable for emergency purposes only," reads a statement from SCEMD. "The overall goal is to keep all roads passable, but the extent of that challenge is unknown as weather conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout the day.  Motorists who need to travel for emergency purposes are advised to first call 911 for emergency assistance.  If it's absolutely necessary to drive, motorists should reduce their speed, avoid SCDOT trucks on the road and closely follow travel information as the weather system brings changing conditions."

"The roads are terrible," said Fairfield County Chief Deputy Keith Lewis. "Please stay off the roads."

"I have an all-wheel drive vehicle, that's 4-wheel drive at all times, and even there, it was difficult traveling," Jones said. "We want to urge motorists to stay home. Even this morning, as me and my wife walked out on our deck, we were sliding then. So just picture the interstates being the same way."

In a 12-hour span from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday, the Department of Public Safety says Highway Patrol officers responded to 273 weather-related calls.  95 of them were crashes.

"This is what we're going to face widespread here in the Midlands. We can't urge enough, stay home unless you absolutely have to get out. If you do, be extremely careful."

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