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Sleet in store?

Wintry weather and possible ice could be headed to the area today, the National Weather Service reported.

In an alert that included McDuffie and several surrounding counties, the weather service said cold weather could turn precipitation to freezing rain. Warm ground temperatures, however, would probably prevent accumulation, the weather service said in an announcement Tuesday.

McDuffie County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Agency Director Bruce Tanner said January ice storms downed trees and knocked out power across the area in both 2004 and 2005. Some parts of McDuffie County saw sleet Tuesday night.

"We've got plans in place that would address it as far as warming stations and opening shelters and that kind of thing if we have to," Chief Tanner said. "...There's nothing you can do about Mother Nature if she decides to take her fury out on us, but we'll just have to deal with it when it comes."

As for McDuffie County's roadways, Public Works Director Chris Pelly said his crews and equipment are up for the task. Salt and gravel mixes are ready to spread on the bridges if they should freeze, and chainsaws and vehicles are gassed and tuned.

"We've got crews on standby, and as soon as we get the call, we head out and do what we can to get the roads back safe for the public to travel on them," Mr. Pelly said. "...We keep up on (the weather), and if something happens, we're ready to go."

Web posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007

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