COLUMBIA – Gov. Nikki Haley held an executive group conference call with agency directors Thursday night to discuss and be briefed on the ongoing impact of the current winter storm. This was the eighth call with agency directors since Monday.
The governor and agency directors focused on maintaining emergency operations, including the clearing of roadways, supporting utility crews, and staffing shelters. An emphasis was also placed on the continued recovery efforts – planning for debris removal, conducting damage assessments, and replenishing salt supplies.
Haley and administration officials remain committed to keeping the public informed about safety issues such as the possibility of black ice forming overnight and the timeframe for when power will be restored to the more than 271,000 citizens still without those services.
State Agency Response Roundup
Department of Transportation: 1,539 maintenance workers actively involved in road operations, deicing roads with a supply of 14,080 tons of salt, 5,350 tons of sand, 67,371 gallons of calcium chloride, and 765 pieces of equipment in use.
Department of Public Safety (supported by SLED and DNR): 354 officers in the field on around-the-clock rotating shifts. In the past 48 hours, the Highway Patrol has responded to 3,904 weather-related calls for service: 1,109 collisions; 1,115 trees in roadways; 247 abandoned vehicles; 1,159 distressed motorists; and 159 power lines in roadways.
National Guard: 232 soldiers deployed, supporting highway operations with 14 wrecker teams and an additional 30 dump trucks hauling more than 600 tons of salt inland from Charleston.
American Red Cross (supported by DSS): 24 general population shelters open, including 4 warming stations, with a total of 239 occupants at this time. Counties have identified 11 additional shelters to be opened as well. There are 210 volunteers and employees from the American Red Cross and 40 DSS employees staffing these shelters. DHEC has 9 special medical need shelters with 27 occupants, being staffed by 25 DHEC employees rotating on 12-hour shifts.
Emergency Management Division: The State Emergency Operations Center will remain activated 24 hours a day until the emergency is over. SCEMD is coordinating agency actions and will facilitate any requests for federal assistance.
Haley was again briefed on power outages statewide, which at 8 p.m. Thursday, totaled more than 271,000. To date, Duke Energy has restored power to 160,000 customers and SCE&G has restored power to 40,000 customers.