Ice results in power loss, closing of schools, offices

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More cold weather forecast

By David Meade

Just as the upstate recovers from a coating of ice, more cold weather and possibly snow is being forecast for later in the week. According to forecasters, a significant cold wave is expected through Saturday across the region. Another Arctic air mass, which is colder than the one earlier this week will yield temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below normal through Friday and 15 to 20 degrees below normal on Saturday. The bitter cold will also be accompanied by gusty northwest winds which will create dangerous wind chills, especially in the mountains Thursday night.

Weather forecasters are saying the frigid conditions will likely freeze unprotected water pipes and could damage undrained sprinkler systems. There is also the possibility of a thin layer of ice forming on ponds and along stream banks.

Residents and businesses are being advised to prepare for possible power outages or brief power disruptions during hours of peak demand, especially areas impacted by the recent ice storm.

Officials are also advising people to check on a vulnerable neighbor or family member, possibly providing extra blankets, heaters or offering a warm place to stay. Any unheated outside water supply for pets and livestock will freeze or remain frozen for several days.

Approximately one quarter inch of ice coated the area Monday night and into Tuesday causing schools, governments and businesses to shut down Tuesday and operated on a two hour delay on Wednesday.

Anderson County Government, the Town of Williamston and Anderson Districts 1 and 2 all were on a 2 hour delay on Wednesday, (Feb. 18).

Other than power outages, there were very few reports of storm related incidents locally, though there were some limbs reported down in some areas.

Anderson County Emergency Services and Public Works personnel worked throughout the night Monday and all day on Tuesday to provide service and safety to the residents of Anderson County.

Anderson County School District 5 was closed all day Wednesday due to ongoing power outages throughout Anderson County.

Duke Energy was reporting 10,734 Anderson County customers without power Wednesday morning, with estimated restoration by sometime on Wednesday.

Thirteen of those were in the Williamston area, 35 in Cheddar and 27 in the Toney Creek area. There are 191 customers along the Anderson-Pickens county line that are experiencing a power outage.

County wide there were still 523 outage locations on Wednesday. Duke serves 83,112 customers in Anderson County. To report an electric problem cal1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)

As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative had 2,653 members without electric service. Those were: Anderson – 869; Greenville – 40; Oconee – 909; and Pickens – 835.

On the Blue Ridge system, all backbone feeder lines were back in service by Wednesday. Crews working overnight were able to restore service to a few hundred additional members. Additional progress was expected to be made Wednesday. Workers were dealing with extensive damage to the system, including some broken poles. The cooperative had nearly 300 linemen in the field to address this storm emergency.

To report an outage: 1-888-BLUERIDGE.

SCDOT began preparing for the winter weather on Monday with salt brine treatment on main roads and I-85. SCDOT Engineering District 2 which includes Anderson and Laurens reported many trees down and crews were working on tree removal. As of late Tuesday, SCDOR workers were still applying deicing chemicals and plowing. All counties in District 2 except Edgefield reported tree damage. McCormick and Saluda counties are assisting other counties in the district. With cold temperatures overnight, there were some reports of black ice on Wednesday morning.

Check The Journal website for the latest updates on weather, accidents and other news happenings. (www.maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com)