Florence County moves to 'OPCON 2' in response to winter storm

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Below is a news release from the Florence County Emergency Operations Center:

Effingham, SC - Florence County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was elevated to OPCON 2 to facilitate coordination of resources for assistance and assessment in response to the winter storm forecast for the Florence County area today.

We have elevated our status to ensure resources are coordinated for a quick response to any needs with the upcoming storm. We are anticipating, based on the National Weather Service forecast, .25 to .75 inch of freezing rain within the next several hours.

According to a news release from the Florence County Sheriff's Office:

All Florence County Emergency Services, including Fire, EMS, Public Works and the Florence County Sheriff's Office are up and working to respond to emergencies at this time.   Additional personnel have been called up to ensure that essential public safety services are available to those in need.

Currently, a number of communities in the lower part of the County are experiencing power outages due to the formation of ice on power lines and tree limbs.  Power company crews are working diligently to restore power in those areas.  As the storm progresses over the next 24 hours, additional outages are likely.  There are numerous reports of downed power lines and trees on roadways.   Please report any downed power lines or trees across roadways to E-911.  Report any power outages to the service provider in your area.

"We urge everyone to stay off of the roads unless it absolutely necessary," Sheriff Kenney Boone stated.  "If you must travel, please slow down, use extreme caution and allow extra space for stopping and turning.  Power lines and tree limbs may fall across the roads, and power outages may affect traffic lights and signals, so pay special attention before entering intersections."

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