Local crews prep to assist in upstate for winter storm, travelers cancel plans

VIDEO: Local crews prep to assist in upstate for winter storm, travelers cancel plans

NORTH CHARLESTON - (WCSC) - Upstate South Carolina has already seen snow fall and stick, and there's more to come for those areas as the winter storm continues to develop.

Many crews from across the state, including from our area, have teamed up to help prepare for what's to come of this winter weather. The temperature is expected to drop throughout the night, and many have had to change their weekend travel plans.

"We got in last night around 11 and were were going to go back home Sunday, but we're thinking we're going to get stuck until maybe Monday or Tuesday, we're not sure," says Alexandria Shepherd.

Alexandria and her sister Sara are visiting Charleston from Rutherfordton, North Carolina.

"It's extremely cold and there's a ton of snow," says Sara. "Pretty much North Carolina has shut down, we can't get in."

Crews in South Carolina are preparing for the winter weather and what's to come. Red Cross Volunteers in North Charleston who are ready to assist with upstate.

"We have emergency vehicles on standby as well as relief supplies and we're always ready to open shelters," says Red Cross Public Affairs volunteer, Carly Fountain.

As of 6 p.m. Friday,  the SC Department of Transportation posted on its Facebook page that they had nearly 900 maintenance employees on the roads and 445 types of equipment in use to keep the roads clear.

"This winter storm completely took us off guard, we had no idea that it was coming," says Alexandria.

Berkeley Electric Cooperative sent crew members to assist in Pickens, South Carolina. There were more than 4,000 outages caused by the winter storm. SC E&G is prepared to respond too.

"There's a potential for this storm to affect millions this weekend," says Fountain.

For the sisters from North Carolina, there's no rush to return home. They just want to remain safe.

"We're fine here, we don't want to go home until it's clear," says Alexandria.

Thousands of flights have been cancelled nationwide and so have blood drives. The Red Cross encourages you to donate when and if you can. The roads are expected to be dangerous in certain areas so officials have advised drivers to stay off the roads if you're heading north.

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