Black ice threat looms during freezing weekend

Black ice threat looms during freezing weekend

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Freezing temperatures are creating a risk of black ice on roadways throughout the Grand Strand and Pee Dee. The freezing temperatures are also putting those without heat tonight at risk as well.

The preparation the South Carolina Department of Transportation has been doing to protect the roads from ice and snow now needs to keep the roads clear of black ice.

"We did pretty good. We did pretty good. I mean, no reports of anything freezing up, didn't have any reports of any wrecks because of anything freezing up," said Lerena Pate of SCDOT. "So I think this round went really good."

There are still many in the department of transportation who are ready to respond for emergencies. For now, though, the 12-hour on-call shift SCDOT has been on has ended.

"Each county's got an on-call crew with a beeper and a phone that highway patrol can reach them by," Lerena Pate said.

With many seeing below freezing temperatures this weekend, the threat of black ice on the roads will persist into the work week. These temperatures also put those without heat in danger. So, as they have done in the past, many groups are opening warming shelters to keep those vulnerable to the cold safe this weekend.

"They get a safe and warm place to sleep. We ask that if they have any medications, they need to bring those," said Lou Palm of the Red Cross. "They can not bring any pets. We don't want them to bring their pets to the shelter."

SCDOT stands behind the preparations it made ahead of the storm. Though the roadways are not as impaired as they could have been, Pate said spraying the roads and preparing them for winter weather is relatively cheap and worth the effort.

"It's always, with these snow storms, it's hard to tell what's going to come in first. But it's also always good to do the pre-treatment because you never know if it starts raining that it's going to turn to something else," Pate said.

As for those at risk for the temperatures, according to Selena Small with the Conway Police Department, anytime the temperature dips below freezing, Conway will open warming shelters. Conway will have warming shelters open all weekend.

Tonight and tomorrow night a warming shelter is open at the Conway Senior Center at 1519 Mill Pond Road.

Monday night a shelter will be open at the Mary Thompson Center at 1009 17th Avenue.

Each will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. but will close if no one is there by 10 p.m.

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