Originally created 12/29/00

Winter weather advisory in effect



Sleet was accumulating on some area bridges and overpasses tonight as winter weather passed through the CSRA.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory at 8:10 p.m. for Augusta and neighboring counties that is in effect until midnight.

A mixture of rain, sleet and snow in Aiken County caused slick spots on some parts of the roadways and temperatures are currently hovering above freezing.

But the rain and sleet is expected to end near midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Dan Miller, a meteorologist with the weather service's Columbia bureau said that even though temperatures will fall below freezing tonight, he expected most of the precipitation to dry up once it stops falling.

"I don't think we're going to be seeing a major problem in the (Augusta area)," he said.

Mr. Miller said major roadways should be fine by the time people make their commutes to work Friday morning. But he cautioned motorists that frozen spots could remain on bridges and overpasses. "There is that threat that there are some slick spots."

Meanwhile, local emergency officials are standing by to see how bad road conditions get.

Aiken County EMS Director David Ruth alerted his senior staff that weather conditions could deteriorate throughout the night. The S.C. Transportation Department will send out sand trucks if the roads and bridges begin to ice over, he said.

In Columbia County, Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker said sleet was first reported around 8 p.m. and by 9:30 p.m. the overpass at Belair Road and Interstate 20 was becoming a little slick. However, crews from the county's roads and bridges department and the Georgia Department of Transportation were on standby.

"If anything is wet is going to be frozen," she said about morning conditions. "For the most part the roads are going to be passable, but people need to go ahead and be prepared to drive carefully in the morning."