Travel not recommended unless absolutely necessary

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With temperatures falling statewide this morning, most roads will remain hazardous throughout the day. Travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary. SCDOT forces continue working on rotating 12-hour shifts utilizing snow plows and applying salt and other anti-icing materials throughout the state.

As of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, . . .

· The South Carolina Department of Transportation had 1,389 maintenance employees involved in road operations.

Conditions on many roadways are extremely hazardous, particularly on secondary roads. The public is advised not to drive unless absolutely necessary.

· The South Carolina Highway Patrol reports officers have responded a total 1240 incidents related to this weather event.

SCHP personnel continue to be augmented by officers from the State Law Enforcement Division and the SC Department of Natural Resources.

· 32 S.C. National Guardsman have been placed on state active duty. Soldiers are operating vehicle recovery teams in support of ongoing traffic response activities and providing transportation support for local first responders if needed.

Statewide

Although the winter storm the area has experienced is moving away from the upstate and midlands, the upper coastal plains and Pee Dee region will be affected until midday. Snowfall has accumulated from 1 to 3 inches with varying amounts locally with freezing rain near the coast.

The Pee Dee region may have up to 3 inches by noon.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) and members of the State Emergency Response Team along with police, fire and other emergency responders continue to deal with winter weather conditions that have affected most of the state.

SCEMD is urging everyone to take proper safety measures to handle frozen precipitation, hazardous road conditions and extremely cold temperatures.

On the state level, the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center will remain activated at Operational Condition 3 for the duration of hazardous conditions. OpCon 3 is the state’s preparedness level when a disaster or emergency situation is ongoing. The SEOC will support county emergency management directors should first responders need additional resources.

Governor Nikki Haley has ordered all state government offices to follow the same closing/delay schedule as county governments. The status of all state government offices is listed by county at scemd.org.

· Five county emergency managers with the S.C. Dept. of Social Services and American Red Cross Volunteers have opened winter shelters in Beaufort, Calhoun, Colleton, Orangeburg and Williamsburg Counties. Additional support is standing by to operate shelters should they become necessary.