UNION COUNTY — A visit by Old Man Winter brought as much as three inches of snow to Union County Saturday afternoon but caused little in the way of power outages and hazardous road conditions.
Andrew Kimball, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, said Monday that Saturday’s snow was the result of a weather system that first brought rain to the area and caused temperatures to drop.
“A front passed through that morning bringing a cold rain,” Kimball said. “That was followed by an upper level disturbance and with the cold air already in place that allowed the precipitation to fall as snow.”
Kimball said the snow fell for up to 90 minutes and dropped anywhere from two inches (Lockhart) to three inches (Jonesville, Adamsburg) in Union County.
As for whether the county will get a repeat of Saturday’s weather anytime soon, Kimball said that while another system was expected to pass through the area today, it will be too warm for anything more than rain although he said it was possible the mountains could get a wintry mix.
After that system passes through, Kimball said the rest of week should be dry until another system passes through Friday. He said it too should bring only rain because temperatures will be too warm for it to freeze into snow.
Saturday’s snow had both the Union County Public Works Department and the Union County office of the S.C. Department of Transportation monitoring the county’s roads, ready to respond to any weather-related problems, and taking steps to make sure no problems developed.
“We haven’t had any calls about trees down,” Public Works Director John Gibson said Saturday evening. “We’re just waiting for any call. We’ve got people on standby if something does come up.”
In addition to receiving no calls about the roads, Gibson said his department had not received any calls from Wallace Thomson Hospital or Ellen Sagar Nursing Home or Oakmont Nursing Home requesting it spread sand in their parking lots. He added that as of Saturday evening the roads in his area were clear.
County offices were closed Monday due to Presidents Day and Gibson said he’d received no reports as of that morning about problems with the roads Saturday night and Sunday.
Jason Childers, resident maintenance foreman for the SCDOT’s Union County office, said Saturday that while the snow was not sticking to the roads SCDOT personnel would be on duty throughout the night to deal with any areas of black ice that might develop.
“It is not sticking to the roadways,” Childers said. “We’re clearing the slush and the wintry mix from the roadways.
“We’re going to be here all night in case of black ice,” he said. “As the temperature drops will be here ready to respond if we find any spots of black ice or we get any calls from the various agencies about trouble with black ice.”
Michael Turner, SCDOT field manager, said Sunday the department was taking steps to prevent black ice from developing. He said trucks had been sent out to apply salt to all hills, curves and shady spots while the sun was shining to prevent black ice in areas where it was likely to occur. In addition, Turner said the SCDOT was checking bridges for standing water which could freeze over during the night.
State offices including the SCDOT were also closed for Presidents Day.
In addition to causing few, if any, problems on the roads, the storm also caused little in the way power outages.
Clarence Auton, electric construction and maintenance supervisor for the City of Union Utility Department, said there were not outages reported on the city system.
Josh Crotzer, members services coordinator for Broad River Electric Cooperative, said there were outages reported on the cooperative’s system, either.
Bruce Parker, transmission and distribution manager for Lockhart Power, said there was one brief outage on the company’s system that affected a few homes off Mt. Tabor Church Road. He said the outage occurred when a tree limb fell on power line late Saturday afternoon. Company personnel had power restored less than an hour after the outage was reported.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.