By DEUCE NIVEN
- All McLeod clinics and physicians offices in Horry County, and McLeod Primary Care in Tabor City remain closed today, with most expected to reopen at 11 a.m. Friday . McLeod Telehealth is available 24/7 here.
- Southeastern Community College is closed today.
- All Horry County government offices, including all Horry County Memorial Libraries, the Horry County Museum, and Horry County Community Centers will remain closed today. Public Safety operations continue on a normal schedule.
All courts remain closed for the day.
- Atlantic Corporation operations in Tabor City will resume at 10 a.m. Thursday, with employees encouraged to use their best judgement concerning travel from their homes.
Area schools, many government offices and businesses have either announced closings for Thursday or are preparing for that contingency as a significant winter storm closes in on the Tabor-Loris Community.
Columbus County Schools, Horry County Schools, and Horry Georgetown Technical College will be closed for students and staff Thursday, the second consecutive day for the Horry institutions.
Columbus County Schools dismissed at noon today, as did Southeastern Community College.
Decisions on Thursday schedules for SCC and CCU had not been announced by 1:30 p.m.
Decisions on school schedules for Friday are expected to be made Thursday afternoon.
Here it comes
Forecasts for the storm’s impact were being refined this afternoon, the latest just before 2 p.m. from the National Weather Service showing projected snow accumulations from 2 to 4 inches in the Tabor-Loris Community and surrounding areas, the risk of icing greater to the south around Georgetown and along the coast.
Snow has already begun in many areas in South Carolina, and will begin by mid-afternoon in North Carolina, spreading to all coastal areas by evening.
The winter storm warning for the area is expected to lift by 6 a.m. Thursday.
With overnight lows projected in the low 20s, warming to the freezing mark about 10 a.m. Thursday, and a forecast high of 38, melting of the snowfall is expected to be sluggish Thursday, and the potential of black-ice on highways high late in the day into Friday.
Columbus County is opening an emergency shelter at Whiteville’s Edgewood Elementary School at 3 p.m. today. The school is located at 317 East Calhoun Street.
Other closings and cancellations to date are below, and will be updated during the afternoon, as those announcements are received:
- Loris City Council – Tonight’s meeting has been cancelled, a make-up date not yet announced.
- Horry County Recycling Centers closed by 1 p.m. today, administrative offices closing at 2:30 p.m., with plans to re-open at 10 a.m. Thursday, weather permitting.
- Columbus County District Courts will be closed Thursday, those cases rescheduled as follows: Criminal District, Feb. 15; Child Support, Feb. 2; Juvenile, Jan. 18.
- Horry County Courts – All court status hearings in Conway have been postponed.
- Columbus Regional Healthcare – Emergency services are open.
- McLeod Health –McLeod Loris and McLeod Seacoast hospitals are open. Most McLeod clinics in Horry County have closed as the storm has already made impact along the coast, snowfall moving to the west. Most clinics are scheduled to re-open by 10 a.m. Thursday, weather permitting. Exceptions include McLeod Loris Seacoast Surgery, all locations, to reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday; McLeod Cardiology Loris and Seacoast and McLeod Cardiology Associateions, Loris and Seacoast, at 10 a.m. Thursday; McLeod OB/GYN Seacoast and Loris offices, 10 a.m.; McLeod ENT Seacoast, 10 a.m.
- Conway Medical Center – All elective endoscopic and surgical cases for Thursday will be rescheduled; all Conway Physician Group offices have closed and are scheduled to open at noon Thursday; all outpatient facilities including the Rehabilitation Center and Outpatiend Imaging have closed and will reopen at noon Thursday.
Horry County Government moved to OPCON 4 Wednesday morning, putting its employees on “Alert Status” just a level higher than the normal OPCON 5.
County government leaders encourage citizens to take winter safety precautions, including:
- Citizens unaccustomed to dealing with life-threatening aspects of severe cold should remember to keep exposure to a minimum. Frostbite is harmful and painful. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be lethal, and it is particularly hard on infants and the elderly. When the weather turns cold, don’t go outdoors unless you have to. If you must go out, dress in layers and cover your ears, head, and hands. Remember, high wind speeds dramatically increase the effects of cold temperatures by increasing the “wind chill factor.”
- Remember the usual emergency supplies: a flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, extra non-perishable food and water, extra medicines and baby items, and first-aid supplies.
- Freezing temperatures can burst water pipes in homes that lack heat or proper insulation. Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold.
- Prepare a place indoors for pets. Move farm animals to shelters and have extra feed and water available.
- Be aware of possible carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire if using alternative sources for electricity, heating or cooking.
- NEVER operate a portable generator indoors.
- Residents are encouraged to check on elderly and at-risk neighbors and relatives due to the increased potential for power outages and cold temperatures.
- Use extra caution when traveling on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roadways, which tend to freeze first. Even at above freezing temperatures, if the conditions are wet, motorists may encounter ice in shady or exposed roadways (bridges).
- Monitor local media for the most up to date storm-related information.
For more information on winter weather safety tips for your family and pets, please log onto the American Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm.
Additional closings and other announcements will be posted here as events warrant. Look for stories and photos on the snowfall and it’s impact in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.