Freeze, thaw, repeat: roadways still a concern in Sumter County

SUMTER, SC (WIS) - The Department of Transportation prioritized areas of Sumter County Thursday. Some roads were completely iced over, while some were a thawing, mushy mess after seven inches of snow fell there Wednesday.

"A large hurdle for us was the speed of precipitation in this storm," wrote SCDOT Engineer, Alan Kozusko in an email to WIS. "Another is the logistics of having priority roads far apart such as I-95 and 378 around Shaw."

A WIS crew spent the day roving the streets around the city of Sumter. Many people stopped to ask "How is 378? Is it still a mess?" And that's because the major connecting road was covered in icy patches earlier Thursday morning. Many felt that DOT hadn't prepared the city well enough for the onslaught of wintry precipitation, while SCDOT cited the speed of the precipitation and the access to secondary roads.

Many spots thawed throughout the day Thursday. WIS caught up with Sumter resident Ryan Guilds who just moved back from Charleston two years ago. He said he grew up in Sumter and was around in 1973 when a huge snowstorm blanketed the city in several inches of snow.

While this doesn't come close to that, he said it was incredibly tricky making his way home around 3:00 PM Wednesday.

"I work for the city electric supply here," Guilds said. "And we took off and it was slippery and slidy all the way home."

SCDOT had engineers working Thursday to clear problem areas - like US 378 and areas of I-95. They worked their way outward, but caution residents that secondary roads will re-freeze overnight.

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