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Everything you need to know for the ice storm headed to the Midlands

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Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:43 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2022 at 8:36 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Our First Alert team continues to track the potential for a wintry mix in the Midlands this weekend.

Whether it’s snow, rain, or ice... our team has you covered.

Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order 2022-04 to declare a State of Emergency in preparation for this weekend’s expected winter storm.

“South Carolina will be impacted by a major winter storm this weekend, likely beginning Sunday morning,” said McMaster. “There is a potential for very dangerous conditions caused by accumulations of ice and snow, which will likely result in power outages across the state. I urge South Carolinians to monitor their local weather forecasts and begin taking safety precautions.”

RELATED | Governor McMaster declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm

Through this article, we will prepare you for everything to expect -- and most importantly -- how to prepare.

How to Prepare

Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies only.

It’s best to stay off the roads for unnecessary travel. If you must travel, ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Check the fluids, battery, and tires.

Be aware of ice forming. This means potential power outages. Make sure you have flashlights, blankets, and any non-perishable foods and water just in case.

Be sure NOT to use candles. These can be a fire hazard.

Please use caution when around generators. Make sure you are following all the correct precautions when using them.

When it comes to driving -- watch out for black ice or slick spots, especially on Sunday and Monday morning. In general, be very cautious when on the roads.

First Alert Updates

To stay up-to-date with the latest forecasts from our team, you can click here.

The above link will redirect you to our weather page. This will provide you with any updates our meteorologists give in the coming days.

Additionally, be sure to tune into any of our live shows or pop over to our Facebook page, where our meteorologists provide live streams.

Right now, there is the potential we could see freezing rain/ice in the Midlands.

Some snow could mix in at the end of the event, but a lot can still change between now and this weekend.

Latest Facebook Live:
RELATED | FIRST ALERT: Still looking at a freezing rain chance in the early morning hours

SCDOT

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is preparing for the winter weather response.

Workers at SCDOT are prepared to work around the clock, using all available resources to ensure motorists stay as safe as possible when traveling the state’s roads and bridges.

“We are closely monitoring the forecast for this weekend but rest assured that SCDOT is preparing for a worst-case scenario and will begin pre-treating highways as early as Thursday, Jan. 13,” said Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall.

SCDOT resources include:

  • Approximately 2,500 SCDOT employees preparing for the event.
  • 60,000 tons of salt.
  • Over 525,000 gallons of salt brine as well as approximately 275,000 gallons of ice breaking chemicals.
  • Contracts with private companies to position wreckers along interstates to help avoid potential lengthy backups.
SCDOT Winter Weather
SCDOT Winter Weather(SCDOT)

In an emergency, employees follow a designated plan in each county.

Highways remain the first priority, followed by primary routes and areas near medical facilities and emergency shelters.

Employees work 12-hour shifts of pre-emptive ice treatments. This means snow plowing and spreading salt and other materials to achieve safer improved road conditions.

Anyone traveling is urged to be extremely careful, and be aware of black ice that can form on roads and bridges at night from melting snow.

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