South Carolina’s Emergency Management Division says the state’s plan for handling a winter storm like this has worked well, and so far the storm has not cost state taxpayers any additional money.
“Not yet,” says EMD spokesman Derrec Becker. “Right now we’re operating off our normal budgets. We’re doing our normal hours.”
SCDOT spokesman Pete Poore says the agency budgets for sand and salt, and putting that on roads, along with using snow plows, is part of “emergency maintenance”, which is also already in the budget. He says the storm has not cost the agency any additional money yet, although overtime could be an issue. There’s no way to know until after the snow and ice are gone and crews are back on normal hours.
And while other areas experienced major problems because of the storm, Becker says things have gone smoothly here. The state opened its Emergency Operations Center before the storm hit to take phone calls from county emergency response directors.
“We’re seeing a few requests from the counties, one has been Lexington, has requested additional salt trucks from SCDOT” Becker says. “As soon as we got that information we pushed it right to SCDOT and they got them the salt trucks that they needed.”
He says the only problem the state ran into was with the EMD website, which crashed. “When we sent out the information about state government office closings, there was a glitch in the software, with other outside entities linking to it and that caused it to shut down. We were able to put up a new, very basic, very blank website in almost 15 minutes.”
He says after all the snow and ice are gone, EMD will do an “after incident report” to look at anything that needs to be changed or improved.