SCDOT and Dominion Energy gearing up for second storm in less than a week

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Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:40 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2022 at 12:01 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - With forecasts calling for a second winter weather event in less than a week, the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Dominion Energy are gearing up with extra crews to respond to whatever the storm brings.

SCDOT has all hands on deck, with all 2,500 of its employees on standby.

“SCDOT workers are now being called to be prepared to work around the clock again,” Brittany Harriot, SCDOT spokesperson, said. “So we have 24-hour operations going into effect beginning tonight.”

In addition to employees, the department will partner with private contractors like they did last week to position wreckers along interstates in the hopes of avoiding any potential lengthy backups.

SCDOT began pre-treating roads on Thursday. With rain throughout the evening, the department did things a little differently this time.

“We just switch up our tactic in the sense of not applying salt brine first because that will wash away quicker and using hard salt rock which would go down first and we’ll just keep applying that as necessary until the ice comes and then we’ll switch to salt brine,” Harriot said.

As far as clearing roads once the storm hits, interstates get first priority, followed by primary roads and areas near medical facilities and emergency shelters.

Both SCDOT and Dominion are preparing for the worst-case scenario, which could include widespread power outages.

“Right now we are strategically placing our crews around the state at various sites,” Dominion Energy spokesperson Matt Long said. “We’re staging them in Columbia, in North, St. Matthews, Blythewood to make sure that they are ready to respond as needed throughout the system if the worst does happen here in South Carolina.”

During the storm on Sunday, Dominion said they experienced a peak of 17,000 power outages in the company’s South Carolina service territory.

To help with power restoration for this weather event, dominion has called in 100 linemen from Tennessee and Alabama.

Despite a lack of expected snow accumulation, SCDOT says ice and heavy rain can still be very dangerous, and they’re urging you not to travel on the roads during the storm unless absolutely necessary.

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