Rutherford County gets ready for potential winter weather

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Rutherford County residents may wake up to the first snowfall of the year.

According to the National Weather Service at the Greenville/Spartanburg International Airport, the expectation is that parts of the county could have as much as 3 inches of snow on the ground by Friday morning.

The storm system started Thursday morning and extended from Alabama to Washington, D.C. and piggy-backed off intense rain across the region.

“There is a low moving across Georgia and into South Carolina and it is moving pretty quickly,” said Jeffrey Taylor, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “There is a lot of moist, cold air that will come into the region.”

The pattern dumped snow on Mississippi and Alabama before moving into northern Georgia and North Carolina.

Most of the state was under a Winter Storm Warning issued Thursday morning.

In Rutherford County, NCDOT crews began preparation on Thursday for the storm.

“We have put on all of our spreaders and plows, so we are ready for whatever it does,” said Matt Taylor with NCDOT, in Spindale.

Area residents began hitting the local grocery stores early Thursday to stock up on items such as bread and milk.

Forest City resident Ruth Conner said that she had already been shopping two days ago but, came back Thursday afternoon to pick up necessities.

“I have an invalid mother at home so I have to make sure I have everything ready,” Conner said.

Temperatures overnight dropped below freezing which, with the rain from earlier Thursday, created issues with ice on the roadways.

Matt Taylor said that road crews were not able to preempt any ice because of the earlier heavy rains.

“A lot of times we will put salt brine out, but when the storm starts with rain it’s not a good idea because the rain will just wash it away,” Matt Taylor said. “Once it changes to snow, we are going to be ready to go out.”

Across North Carolina, snow was expected Thursday night into early Friday morning with as much as 8 inches on the ground anticipated in the northwestern mountains.

Matt Taylor said that crews will be on duty to clear certain routes in the county until they are cleared of snow completely or the snowfall stops.

Heading into the weekend, Jeffrey Taylor said that temperatures will return back to normal — in the 50s — before dropping significantly on Tuesday, when the high temperature is not expected to get out of the 30s.

“I really don’t worry about it unless we lose power,” said Forest City resident Patricia Allen, who was also shopping Thursday afternoon. “That’s when things can be bad.

“But, why worry? What can you really do about it?”