N. Charleston lifts travel restrictions, warns of continued road dangers

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Travel restrictions in effect in North Charleston because of potentially dangerous road conditions were lifted at 2 p.m. Friday.

That word comes from the city a day after Mayor Keith Summey declared a state of emergency in the city.

In a tweet on the city's official Twitter account, officials say despite the lifting of the restrictions, they continue to urge motorists to keep travel to a minimum, and "when necessary to travel, use extreme caution."

Melting snow and ice on the roadways are again likely to refreeze Friday evening into Saturday as temperatures again drop below the freezing mark.

As of 1:15 p.m., the temperature recorded in North Charleston was just 34 degrees. The low projected for Friday night is approximately 20 degrees.

The declaration, which went into effect at noon Thursday, allowed the mayor to invoke a city ordinance "to prohibit or regulate travel upon any public street or upon any other public property, except by those in search of medical assistance, food or other commodity or service necessary to sustain the well-being of themselves or their families or some member thereof," city spokesman Ryan Johnson said.

In addition to the travel restrictions, Summey said the declaration is an attempt to help businesses trying to recoup income losses during the winter storm. It would also apply to the city with respect to overtime pay, he said.

The roads in the city continue to be hazardous because of icy conditions and are expected to worsen Thursday night and into Friday morning.

"People should only be on the roads if they absolutely have to be," Summey said.

"The mayor exempts law enforcement officers, firemen and other public officers and employees; doctors, nurses, employees of hospitals and other medical facilities; on-duty military personnel, whether state or federal; on-duty employees of public utilities, public transportation companies, and newspaper, magazine, radio broadcasting and television broadcasting corporations operated for profit; and such other classes of persons as may be essential to the preservation of public order and immediately necessary to serve safety, health and welfare needs of the people within the city," Johnson said.

Summey said on Thursday he expected the state of emergency could be lifted on Friday, but said city officials would play it by ear, watching not only the temperatures but how much of the roadways are cleared.

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