Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The National Weather Service has reported the beginning of ice formations in Berkeley County as widespread rain has begun to freeze at the surface. Numerous reports have indicated ice beginning to glaze tree branches and surfaces.
Significant ice is expected throughout the night as temperatures continue to slowly fall. At 6:45 p.m., surface temperatures at many locations were at the freezing mark (32 degrees).
The services has again warned residents against driving as road conditions continue to deteriorate in Berkeley County and around the Lowcountry and state.
Today saw a host of cancellations announced as the county braced for the rare winter storm:
• The Berkeley County School District has announced that all schools, school offices and school programs will be closed on Wednesday.
• Berkeley County government offices will be closed at 12 noon Tuesday and remain closed on Wednesday, the county has announced.
Consequently, the Berkeley County Courthouse will also be closed. Anyone with hearings scheduled for either of these days should call and re-schedule the hearing on Thursday, Jan. 30.
Updated information regarding the closing and/or delayed openings of county government offices is listed on the County’s website at www.berkeleycountysc.gov/
• Berkeley County government asks residents to prepare themselves and their homes for a dangerous developing winter weather situation. The National Weather Service says the forecast for this week calls for snow and ice accumulations with freezing temperatures that could last through Thursday morning.
Residents should prepare for the possibility of power outages, problems with pipes that are not fully insulated or at risk to burst, and very dangerous driving conditions.
State and local agencies are putting emergency plans in place for this winter weather event and urge everyone in Berkeley County to consider preparations to keep your home, community, family, vehicles and pets safe.
• Berkeley Electric Cooperative is making advance preparations for the possibility of power outages associated with the winter storm watch, which is in effect through Wednesday.
In the event of a storm causing damage to the Berkeley Electric Cooperative system, the BEC strongly urges everyone to stay away from downed power lines and other electrical equipment.
If your power goes off, Berkeley Cooperative requests that you turn off all large power users in the home such as heating/cooling systems and water heaters. When power is restored, wait 15 minutes before turning any appliance back on, and then turn them on one at a time. Please report all outages and damage as soon as you can; but please only call once.
Members, who may have extreme critical health needs that require a continuous power source during any outage, should always make arrangements to relocate to a place where the needs can be handled.
The other option is to make personal arrangements for a generator to hook up to machines that have to be kept running. Continuous electric service cannot be guaranteed.
Generators should never be hooked into your home or business electric circuits as they can re-energize part of the system and severely injure line crews or others. Generators should only be connected directly to appliances or critical care machines.
Members can also stay updated with outage restoration efforts through the live outage viewer on our website at www.bec.coop as well as through updates on the BEC Facebook page.
• In a Tuesday release, Santee Cooper officials said the utility is continuing to monitor weather forecasts and prepare for storm conditions.
Follow Santee Cooper on Facebook or Twitter for the latest storm-related developments and power delivery news. Customers who experience power outages should report them online at www.santeecooper.com/stormcenter or by calling 1-888-769-7688.
Crews are preparing for upcoming shifts and possible storm-related repairs, if needed.
To help Santee Cooper meet increased demand from the cold nights ahead, customers are also asked to conserve electricity where possible – by delaying the use of dishwashers and washing machines, for example - during the peak demand times in the evening before bedtime and in the mornings before 9 a.m.