Originally created 12/29/00

Area officials warn of slick roads

Motorists should look out for slick spots during their morning commute today, especially on bridges and overpasses, after a minor winter ice storm swept through the area.

Some bridges and overpasses froze Thursday night as a mixture of ice, snow and rain lightly coated roads until midnight.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory at 8:10 p.m. Thursday, and local emergency officials were on standby throughout the night monitoring road conditions.

"Deputies are checking roadways," said David Dlugolenski, the director of the Richmond County Emergency Management Agency.

He said public works crews were prepared to respond to icy roads with sand trucks.

In Aiken County, EMS Director David Ruth alerted his senior staff that weather conditions could deteriorate throughout the night.

Late Thursday, Mr. Ruth had already received reports that the Martintown Road bridge over Interstate 20 was getting icy.

The South Carolina Transportation Department was ready to send out sand trucks to icy roads and bridges, he said.

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, (it) 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."

Temperatures during the storm remained above freezing, which helped make conditions less dangerous, according to the National Weather Service.

Dan Miller, a meteorologist with the weather service's Columbia bureau, said ice should not remain on major roads this morning.

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

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

Today's weather forecast shows conditions as mostly cloudy and cold with highs in the lower 40s and lows in the lower 30s tonight, according to the weather service.

Staff Writer Jason Smith contributed to this article.

Reach Vicky Eckenrode or Katie Throne at (706) 724-0851.


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