GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Georgetown County government has moved to Operating Condition (OPCON) 3 as of 8 a.m. Tuesday in preparation for the possibility of freezing rain and sleet forecast.
OPCON 3 indicates a "standby" status in preparation for a likely or imminent emergency situation. The shift to OPCON 3 also triggered partial activation of the county's Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Georgetown County government offices and facilities are also closed Tuesday. The Georgetown County Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night has also been canceled, and all recreational department games and programs have been canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Below is a news release from Georgetown County detailing what 'OPCON 3' means for the county:
Georgetown County government moved to Operating Condition (OPCON) 3 as of 8 a.m. today in preparation for the possibility of freezing rain and sleet forecast for today and Wednesday. OPCON 3 indicates a "standby" status in preparation for a likely or imminent emergency situation. The shift to OPCON 3 also triggered partial activation of the county's Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Georgetown County is under a winter storm warning through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Predictions call for precipitation consisting mostly of freezing rain for the coastal areas of the county, followed by sleet and snow. This has the potential to create extremely dangerous road conditions and cause widespread power outages as limbs snap from the weight of freezing rain and fall onto power lines. Weather conditions will deteriorate during the day with significant winter weather impacts this afternoon and into the night. Up to three-fourths of an inch of ice are predicted for our area. Half an inch is enough to bring down power lines.
County and municipal officials, in conjunction with S.C. Emergency Management and the National Weather Service, continue to monitor the situation closely. Extra staff have been called in by the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office and fire/EMS departments. The county is prepared to open shelters if necessary. Those locations will be announced.
County offices and facilities are closed today, along with Georgetown County public schools and the City of Georgetown's offices and facilities. Decisions will be made later today on closings for Wednesday. Check www.gtcounty.org for closing notices and other updates.
Updates are also available via the county's automated information hotline, (843) 545-3900. The hotline is available 24 hours a day when the county's EOC is activated and will contain the latest storm information. For questions or other information, call Georgetown County Emergency Management, (843) 545-3273.
No bridges in Georgetown County will close, but motorists are advised to use extreme caution when crossing during icy conditions. Elevated road surfaces, including bridges and overpasses will be the first roadways to be impacted by winter conditions. Dangerous road conditions are expected to persist though Wednesday.
Residents are advised to be prepared for lengthy power outages.
Georgetown County Emergency Management recommends the following precautions:
Before a Winter Storm
* Add winter supplies like rock salt to melt ice and shovels to your disaster supply kit.
* Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
* Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
* Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
* Have your vehicle serviced to ensure it is prepared for the winter season.
* Place a winter emergency kit in every vehicle that includes: a shovel; windshield scraper and small broom; flashlight; battery-powered radio; extra batteries; water; snack food; matches; extra hats, socks and mittens; first aid kit with pocket knife; necessary medications; blankets; tow chain or rope; road salt and sand; booster cables; emergency flares; fluorescent distress flag.
During a Winter Storm
* Stay indoors. If you must go outside, dress in layers of loose fitting, lightweight clothing. Wear a hat that covers your ears. Wear mittens and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs. Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
* Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
* Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
* Watch for signs of frostbite such as the loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as finger, toes, ear lobes and the tip of your nose.
* Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, travel in the day, don't travel alone and keep others informed of your schedule. Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room to stop the vehicle on icy roads.
* If trapped in your car during a winter weather event, pull off of the highway and turn on your hazard lights. Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
* Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
After a Winter Storm
* Listen to your local radio or television station for the latest weather and traffic reports.
* Go to a designated shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
* Check on your animals and ensure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow
drifts, ice or other obstacles. Bring them indoors, if possible.
* Be aware of possible carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire if using alternative
sources for electricity, heating or cooking.
For more winter weather tips, visit www.scemd.org. Visit www.gtcounty.org for local updates.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:05:05 GMT
BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - Last year the Region VI race in Class 3A came down to the final week of the season - but two-thirds of the teams involved all had a shot at winning the region crown. "It'sMore >>
From futbol this summer to football this fall, the nickname can be applied to one of the toughest regions in SCHSL Class 3A.More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:27:40 GMT
SCOTLAND COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A Scotland High quarterback, deemed North Carolina's 11th best player by ESPN, was injured in an ATV accident Tuesday afternoon. Jaylend Ratliffe and a junior linebacker wereMore >>
A Scotland High quarterback, deemed North Carolina's 11th best player by ESPN, was injured in an ATV accident Tuesday afternoon.More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:26:08 GMT
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) The United States Postal Service in Florence is nearly finished downsizing its processing center. And soon any mail with a zip code starting in 295 will be processed in Columbia andMore >>
The United States Postal Service in Florence has downsized its processing center. Soon, any mail with a zip code starting in 295 will be processed in Columbia. More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:46:37 GMT
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence County leaders awarded a North Carolina architecture firm to design the new Florence Emergency Management Center. The architecture firm of Stewart Cooper Newell will beMore >>
Florence County leaders awarded a North Carolina architecture firm to design the new Florence Emergency Management Center.More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:42 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:42:00 GMT
FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Florence Darlington Technical College is hosting two open house registration events. These events will be held on July 31, in the courtyard between the main campus 100 andMore >>
Florence Darlington Technical College is hosting two open house registration events.More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:41:57 GMT
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - At least one person is deceased after a vehicle crash happened Tuesday. The accident happened on Highway 9 and Log Cabin Road and was reported at 12:53 p.m. by Highway Patrol. CopyrightMore >>
The town of Loris continued to mourn the loss of 18-year-old Rena Springs on Wednesday. Springs died after being involved in a car crash on Highway 9 the day before. More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:41:54 GMT
CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - Bo Ives announced his resignation as president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association. At a board meeting in July, Ives announced his resignation. Carolina Forest attorneyMore >>
Bo Ives is a busy man these days, so busy that the immediate past president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association has stepped down so that he can focus on other endeavors.More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:12:34 GMT
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The search for a new president for the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation is scheduled to begin Wednesday. The search comes about a week after former presidentMore >>
The search for a new president for the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation is scheduled to begin Wednesday. Tune in at 5 a.m. for a live report and details with Alex Holley.More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:07:17 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Conway Medical Center has posted the August 2014 calendar of events. From Childbirth classes to Blood drives, they've got it. CMC is offering a variety of events and classes to ensureMore >>
Conway Medical Center has posted the August 2014 calendar of eventsMore >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:07:14 GMT
Conway (WMBF) - Dozens of Horry County middle school students are wrapping up a 4 day week camp focused on science and technology. Innovation, technology, entrepreneurship among middle schoolers or IteamsMore >>
Dozens of Horry County middle school students are wrapping up a four-day week camp focused on science and technology. More >>