Horry County officials have shifted to an alert status and started talks with state emergency management teams, weather authorities, and local municipalities in preparation for the winter storm expected to hit the region Wednesday.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina issued a winter storm advisory in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday due to anticipated impacts that include 2 to 3 inches of snow, along with the potential for ice.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, officials have changed their operating conditions to level 4.
“OPCON 4 puts Horry County on “Alert” status, which means county officials are constantly monitoring the situation and have begun discussions with South Carolina Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, and local municipalities,” according to an email from Kelly Moore, Horry County spokeswoman.
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Officials offered the following safety tips ahead of the storm that’s expected to move in from south to north mid morning Wednesday and last through the night:
- “Citizens unaccustomed to dealing with life-threatening aspects of severe cold should remember to keep exposure to a minimum. Frostbite is harmful and painful. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be lethal, and it is particularly hard on infants and the elderly. When the weather turns cold, don't go outdoors unless you have to. If you must go out, dress in layers and cover your ears, head, and hands. Remember, high wind speeds dramatically increase the effects of cold temperatures by increasing the "wind chill factor."
- Remember the usual emergency supplies: a flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, extra non-perishable food and water, extra medicines and baby items, and first-aid supplies.
- Freezing temperatures can burst water pipes in homes that lack heat or proper insulation. Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold.
- Prepare a place indoors for pets. Move farm animals to shelters and have extra feed and water available.
- Be aware of possible carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire if using alternative sources for electricity, heating or cooking.
- Never operate a portable generator indoors.
- Residents are encouraged to check on elderly and at-risk neighbors and relatives due to the increased potential for power outages and cold temperatures.
- Use extra caution when traveling on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roadways, which tend to freeze first. Even at above freezing temperatures, if the conditions are wet, motorists may encounter ice in shady or exposed roadways (bridges).
- Monitor local media for the most up to date storm-related information.”