Horry County prepares for onset of another severe winter storm

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - As of Tuesday morning, Horry County is now operating at OPCON 4 ahead of the winter storm. This means emergency officials are working closely with the National Weather Service and South Carolina Emergency Management to monitor the storm. SCDOT is also busy monitoring the roadways, as workers have started 12 hour shifts to treat the roads.

There are tons of brine solution on standby, but all the rain is the big issue when it comes to deciding how to pre-treat the roads. The rain could wash away the solution and make it less effective once the storm hits. Because of this, officials tell WMBF News they plan to call it as it comes.

Since it looks like most the coastal areas of Horry County will be pretty clear, some of the SCDOT trucks may be sent to other more inland areas. The agency is taking a team approach for this winter storm.

"We will take care of what we need to here," said Shannon Welch, with SCDOT Maintenance. "If we need to assist them, that's what we're here to do. We all help each other out. If other counties are in worse shape than us, you know we try to help them out too."

This is a quick turnaround from the last winter storm. The Horry County Public Works Department had to buy more than 2,000 gallons of Calcium Chloride to treat the icy roads, and used every drop. But county officials are still waiting to learn more about the possible effects from this storm before they take action this time.

Since the area is getting ready for a round two, they've had some practice, and county emergency management officials say they're confident they will be able to handle it.

"It's a different storm," explained Alicia Sanders, with Horry County EMD. "We're just keeping our eyes open. Same thing. Preparation. Just an easy transition just like last time, and follow through."

The road crews will be on continuous shifts through the winter storm.

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