COLUMBIA COUNTY, Georgia (WJBF)– Columbia County’s Emergency Management Agency is preparing for potential wintery weather..
“Columbia County really maintains a perpetual state of readiness. We’re always ready for this type of stuff,” director of Columbia County Emergency Managment Agency, Shawn Granato said.
That readiness plan includes preparing roads and bridges for ice.
“Our roads and bridges crew is out there right now salting some for the bridges. They’re going to be prepared to salt them later on into the evening should some of the weather that’s predicted get a little bit worse than we’re talking right now,” Granato said.
Granato says when the temperatures are low—always drive as though there is already ice on the road—because there likely is.
The low temperatures mean that black ice could form on roads. Black ice is a thin, often invisible sheet of ice that forms on roads, bridges, and overpasses when temperatures drop below freezing and there is moisture in the air.
“Just slow down. Take your time and make sure you get wherever you’re you have to get safely,” Granato said. “If you don’t have to be on the roads, don’t be. But I understand that some people do, just go a little bit slower. We’re expecting icy conditions.”
Some Columbia County residents say road safety is their biggest concern in bad weather.
“If it snows I will not be driving in it,” Amelia Humphrey said. “Unless I take my dad’s truck out because he has good tires. I do not.”
Roads are a major part of Columbia County’s preparedness plan, but they’re not the only thing taken into consideration.
“Last weekend our fleet department went through and topped off all of our generators. As you can see, we have everything up in here. We maintain warm status of having everything up and ready so we can keep track of all of the assets in Columbia County,” Granato said. “I think we’re pretty ready.”
He says to turn off sprinkler systems and not use outdoor heaters inside.
The Georgia Department of Transportation began brining Augusta roads at 8 p.m. Friday. Crews are covering I-20 from exit 183 to the state line, and all of Bobby Jones Expressway. GDOT will work into Saturday morning.