The National Weather Service in Columbia, South Carolina has issued a Winter Storm Warning for snow, sleet, and freezing rain which is in effect from 11:00 a.m. Tuesday to 9:00 a.m. Wednesday for counties in the CSRA.
The storm may cause snow and sleet accumulation of 2 to 4 inches and 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice late tuesday morning through Wednesday morning.
The risk for power outages exists, as well as northerly winds from 10 MPH to 15 MPH with gusts up to 20 MPH.
There is a 50% chance of precipitation on Tuesday, a 90% chance on Tuesday night, and a 40% chance on Wednesday. Temperatures readings are expected to be in the upper 20s and lower 30s Tuesday afternoon, in the lower to mid 20s Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and in the 30s Wednesday afternoon. Lows will be in the teens Wednesday night.
A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet, and ice are expected or occurring. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Currently, the counties north of I-20 (including Columbia County) will have much colder air and are expected to have mainly a snow event, with up to 2" of snowfall. Columbia County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director Pam Tucker says, officials cannot rule out that there may be accumulations of ice on trees, which could result in some power outages.
The counties south of I-20 may have more sleet and ice to contend with prior to the snowfall.
The CSRA may start seeing snow between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, with snow ending sometime Wednesday morning.
CSRA counties are preparing staff, equipment, and supplies so that emergency functions will not be interrupted and to assure that the roadways are as safe as possible.
Preparations To Consider:
If you know a winter storm will arrive in your area soon, make sure you have the following ready, especially in the case of a severe winter storm:
• Firewood, if you have a fireplace.
• Food that is non-perishable, if you lose power.
• Emergency equipment such as generators and flashlights, tested and ready for use.
• Water for drinking and cooking, collected in bottles in case your pipes freeze.
• Make sure to charge your mobile phone, laptop and other mobile device batteries.
Family Preparedness Plan
Develop a disaster preparedness plan for your family that includes the following:
• Plan on a place to go when a winter storm warning is issued, depending on where you are -- at home, school, work, or if you're outdoors or in your car.
• Plan for a friend or relative you've designated as your point of contact if you are separated from your family during a severe winter storm.
• Place where family members can meet if you're separated in a storm.
Prepare Your Home
• Make sure your home's attic and walls are properly insulated.
• Let your faucets to drip to prevent freezing water from causing pipes to burst.
• Make sure your pipes are properly insulated and leave cabinet doors open around pipes to ensure they receive warmth from the air flowing through your home. Learn more about taking care of pipes here.
• Apply weather stripping to exterior-facing windows and doors, and put storm windows in place as needed.
• Set up emergency heating equipment, such as a fireplace with wood or coal and a camp stove with fuel.
• Purchase space heaters as needed and learn how to use them safely "" keep space heaters away from furniture, drapes and all flammable objects, and never leave them turned on in a room where no one is present. Never drape wet clothes, gloves, hats or socks over a space heater to dry.
• Learn how to shut off your home's water valves in the event that a pipe breaks.
Prepare Your Car
Avoid dangerous winter travel problems by taking a few simple precautions. When the season changes from fall to winter, remember to have the following maintenance service performed:
• Check your car's radiator system and have it serviced as needed.
• Check the antifreeze in your car, to make sure you have the right amount and mixture for winter.
• Check your windshield wiper blades and replace your wiper washing fluid with one that's specifically for wintertime driving.
• Check your tires for any worn-down areas or treads.
• If you don't already have them, purchase jumper cables and store them in your car.
• Purchase an ice removal tool and store it in your car, in case your windshield and windows become covered in ice.
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