What SC emergency management officials are expecting ahead of cold Christmas weekend

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Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 3:39 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolinians might not have a white Christmas in store for this year, but it will be a cold Christmas — potentially the coldest in about 40 years.

Staff with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division have been monitoring the weather moving in ahead of the weekend.

“There’s a number of things people need to take into consideration,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said. “One is, even though we’re not expecting really bad weather this weekend but cold weather is to certainly be aware that that’s out there.”

Gov. Henry McMaster urged South Carolinians to do the same, tweeting Thursday, “Make sure you are prepared, check on your loved ones, and stay up to date” on the weather.

He also issued an executive order to temporarily waive some commercial transportation regulations to address potential winter weather conditions.

South Carolina Department of Transportation crews has been pretreating roads and bridges to prevent the buildup of snow or ice, though precipitation is not in the forecast for most of the state.

SCDOT said it has workers prepared in each county to follow a designated plan in case of winter weather.

SCEMD is not expecting a lot of power outages, Stenson said, but he advises people should still be prepared for them anyways this time of year because of the cold.

The Emergency Management Division recommends South Carolinians have winter weather emergency kits on hand every year, which should include three days’ worth of food and water, warm clothes and blankets, a flashlight and batteries, rock salt, and a shovel for slippery surfaces outside.

“Also be aware of the fact pipes could freeze, and if you’ve got any uninsulated pipes, you should let your water drip, but insofar as possible, you should insulate them to make sure you don’t have a problem with that,” Stenson said.

When temperatures drop, SCEMD urges people to bring outdoor pets inside and check on older friends, family, and neighbors to see if they are doing OK and staying warm.

“Right now, we’re not expecting any major weather problems, but it is going to be extremely cold for this time of year, and we’re encouraging everyone to be prepared for that cold weather,” Stenson said.

People can read SCEMD’s full severe winter weather guide here.

If there’s an emergency on the roads, drivers can call *47 for State Highways Emergency Program assistance.

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