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S.C. roads risky for travel Tuesday, officials warn

Staff Report
Published Jan. 11, 2011

Gov. Mark Sanford on Monday issued a State of Emergency in all 46 counties of South Carolina, to give public safety and transportation agencies the go-ahead to do everything possible to clear ice-and-snow clogged roads.

Early Tuesday, temperatures remained below freezing and a quarter-inch of ice coat the landscape in parts of the state.

Despite the state Department of Transportation's efforts to keep roads clear, the interstate highway cameras showed freezing rain continuing to fall as the sun set on Monday.

The governor's emergency order was issued because it will bring additional resources to the Department of Public Safety to assist stranded motorists, and to ensure utilities have the greatest leeway in managing any possible power outages, the governor's office said.

By Tuesday morning, the state DOT had deployed 1,285 maintenance employees and 711 pieces of equipment to dispense 18,510 tons of salt, 4,604 tons of sand, and 598,726 gallons of salt brine in their efforts to free roadways of ice.
But with freezing rain and the temperatures falling, the odds are that travel early today will be difficult. The DOT said that all roads are covered with snow and many have slushy conditions across the Upstate of South Carolina. Areas closer to the coast also remained dangerous for motorists. 

"The expectation is that conditions will worsen as the day progresses, and for that reason it is essential that state and local workers charged with dealing with the storm’s effects be given the greatest possible ability to do their jobs quickly and effectively," the governor's office said.

"Given the current conditions throughout the state, I would urge the state’s citizens to avoid all unnecessary travel," Gov. Sanford said.

Schools, local and state government agencies and businesses closed statewide as an unusually broad storm blanketed the state in snow and ice from the mountains to the coastal zone.

Taking no chances, the city of Greenville said it would: close offices for non-essential employees today; suspend solid waste collection services, and close the Zoo.

Greenlink public transportation services will be delayed until 10 a.m. City staff will monitor road conditions today to see if there is a need for further delay.

Overnight, city crews concentrated on retreating bridges and overpass surfaces. In the event of dangerous driving conditions, city emergency services urged motorists to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.