January 17, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---All eyes were on both the skies and the roads. Precipitation mixed with freezing temperatures were expected to spell trouble for drivers the next morning.
Area road and bridge departments were on standby in case salt and gravel were needed to help combat icy roads.
"It feels like winter for a change instead of spring or fall," said one Augusta driver.
"No one around here knows how to drive in the rain, so... you know, look out!" said another.
Pam Tucker, director of Columbia County's Emergency Management Services, is looking out.
"From past experience, we've had minimal forecasts where we've had more severe results, where we did have more icing than was forecast," she said.
One example is an ice storm that hit our area three years ago. Power lines and trees were torn down by the weight of the ice and by the wind.
That was the last time the area saw heavy sleet and the last time salt and sand trucks were needed.
To err on the side of caution, Tucker, for the first time in a brand new facility, activated two additional staffers. At 1 am they started reading radars.
Bridges and overpasses were of particular concern. Crews told News 12 those were the first places they'd go with salt and gravel.
Because we're not accustomed to temperatures this cold, here's what you should do when temperatures drop near freezing:
If your water sprinkler is automatic, either turn it off or switch it to manual.
Don't forget about your pets; be sure to bring them indoors.
Also, allow a little extra time to get to work the morning following a freeze, and drive slowly.