Ice, snow headed for Charleston metro region

Legare Austin, with the S.C. Department of Transportation, breaks up salt stored in North Charleston on Monday as a winter storm was forecast to hit the Lowcountry. The salt becomes hard without use, so it must be broken up to be used on roads. Buy this photo

Freezing rain and then snow is expected to fall Tuesday. Roads will ice over. Some power lines will drop.

Tips: Driving on ice

Accelerate, brake and drive slowly.

Run the air conditioner option for heat to remove condensation and frost from inside the windshield. Some defrost settings do this automatically.

Stomp and steer: Counterintuitively, the best way to apply anti-lock brakes is to press hard and let the anti-lock do the work to keep tires from slipping too much. On a combination of snow and ice, ease up on the brake after braking hard. In cars without anti-lock brakes, step on the brake repeatedly as rapidly as needed, without holding it down.

Under steer. Your car will handle like a boat slips through the water.

Be alert for black ice, or ice that isn't readily visible on the road. Ice can and does form anywhere water runs across the road, the road puddles or the roadway is raised over a low-lying area. Anticipate those spots and use caution.

Understand that even with the best equipment and driving technique, sometimes the ice wins. Stay home if you are able.

Sources: Edmunds.com, AAA Exchange.

Arctic cold will overtake rain on Tuesday morning, turn it to freezing rain in the early afternoon and snow at night. Summerville and other inland areas might see the change in the late morning, said Jonathan Lamb, National Weather Service, Charleston.

Generator safety

With the potential for loss of power, remember these tips if using a portable generator:

Read and follow the manufacturer's operating instructions before using the generator.

Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, basement or other enclosed areas.

Only use generators outdoors, away from open windows, vents or doors.

Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool before refilling with fuel.

Source: Charleston Fire Department

As much as three-quarters of an inch of ice could drop. Inland could see maybe an inch of snow Tuesday night.

"It's pretty much going to be an all-day thing," said meteorologist Brett Cimbora with the Charleston office.

The Weather Service on Monday afternoon issued an ice storm warning for the Charleston metro region, in effect from noon Tuesday to 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Power outages, iced-over bridges and roads remain among the chief concerns. Winds will gust and overnight wind chills will drop into the teens Tuesday night, and high temperatures won't rise much above freezing until Thursday.

SCE&G is preparing for widespread outages because of ice on lines and downed trees.

"Vigilant, I think, is the word. We're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," said Eric Boomhower, SCE&G public affairs manager.

But power-generation problems that led to rolling blackouts in the extreme cold this month aren't expected to happen again because the temperatures are not expected to drop so severely, and improvements have been made at the generating facilities, he said.

S.C. Department of Transportation has pre-positioned sand and salt to spread over bridges and iced spots. The S.C. Highway Patrol asks motorists to use caution on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas.

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