Midlands shoppers stocking up on the essentials as winter storm looms

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Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 12:17 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2022 at 1:58 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The last time the Midlands saw a significant ice storm similar to the one that’s expected this weekend was February 2014.

While WIS’ First Alert weather team is not predicting this weekend’s wintry mix to be as severe, grocery shoppers in the Midlands on Friday said they’d rather be safe than sorry.

“Because we’re not used to that, I don’t want to take the chance of coming outside and coming into the weather,” Tasha Sims, a Columbia native, said. “I wanted to make sure we had what we do and don’t need.”

Tina Stokes said she wanted to ensure she got all the essential items in the event that she was to lose power.

“I have lived here all my life and I know that these ice storms can be very treacherous,” Tina Stokes said.

In true South Carolina fashion, bread, water, and dairy were on the top of the list for many.

“I have to make sure that I have bread, water, milk, cereal, and also batteries for my emergency kit,” Libby Davis said.

Stocking up on nonperishable food is key, but according to Dominion Energy, so is preparing an emergency kit.

Dominion also advises residents to have flashlights with working batteries on hand as they are expecting widespread power outages in the area.

As a result, Dominion has called in 130 out-of-state power crews for additional assistance.

“In an ice storm like this it’s important to keep in mind that only a quarter-inch of ice accumulation is enough to potentially bring down a power line,” Matt Long of Dominion said. “And so people should be prepared for the possibility if we do have severe conditions on Sunday that they could lose power.”

AAA is encouraging people to stay home during the storm. However, if you do have to drive, they say you should check your tire pressure, see if windshield wiper fluid needs replacing and pack a survival kit for your car as well.

That should include warm clothing, blankets, jumper cables, snacks, at least a gallon of water, and extra medication just in case you were to get stranded alongside the road.

Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson, points to last week’s incident that left hundreds stranded for hours on I-95 in Virginia following a snowstorm as a reason why a survival kit is necessary.

“If I-95 showed us anything, we saw that people were really without just the basic essentials,” she said. “They didn’t have food, they didn’t have water, they didn’t have their medication. So I think now is an important time as any to stress that. If you don’t have a winter survival kit, go out there, start preparing one now.”

Wright says if you’re going to be traveling during the storm, you should have a full tank of gas to account for additional driving time if the roads are dangerous.

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