City of Charleston declares state of emergency in winter storm aftermath

Mayor John Tecklenburg (Source: Live 5)
Mayor John Tecklenburg (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of Charleston declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon.

Charleston City Council made the decision to pass an emergency ordinance during an emergency meeting held by telephone.

The emergency ordinance passed by council will last for 60 days but can be expired sooner than that.

City spokesman Jack O'Toole said the move was a precautionary measure only.

"At the present time, the city has no plan to impose curfews, travel restrictions, or any other emergency prohibitions," he said earlier in the day.

A state of emergency declaration would authorize Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg to work with public safety officials to take "appropriate action to protect public health and safety."

That could include restrictions against traveling on potentially-dangerous roads that are still coated with ice from Wednesday's winter storm.

Forecasters said the temperature overnight Thursday into Friday morning could drop to below 20 degrees, which would cause moisture from any snow melting to refreeze.

"We continue to strongly advise our citizens to avoid unnecessary travel until the roads are clear and conditions have returned to normal," O'Toole said.

No city roads or bridges are currently closed and ramps remain open.

Tecklenburg thanked emergency personnel for their hard work in the aftermath of the storm.

City offices will be closed Friday except for emergency services and storm response. The city will assess conditions on Friday to determine when offices will reopen.

Garbage and trash pick-up is expected to resume on its regular schedule on Monday.

All city recreation youth basketball games and gymnastics classes on Saturday are canceled.

The city's citizen information line remains in service for non-emergency, weather-related questions at 843-973-7219.

Word of Charleston's meeting comes as North Charleston declared a similar emergency declaration.

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