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City Issues Safety Tips for Winter Storm Preparedness
Posted: January 06, 2017

Due to the possibility of impending inclement weather, the City of Columbia has shared safety tips for the public and provided an update regarding emergency operations.
  • The City urges drivers to use caution when driving during severe weather. 
  • If you encounter an icy street or intersection, turn around; do not attempt to drive through it. Ice may be slicker than it appears and can cause a car accident.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to include damaged or downed trees and power lines to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe winter weather.
  • Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
  • Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • To assist with keeping the storm drainage system working properly we would ask that yard debris and other items not be placed adjacent or next to drainage structures.
Public Safety Update
The City of Columbia’s public safety departments (Columbia Police Department, Columbia Fire Department, and CRC 911 Center) are prepared to increase staffing as needed during the winter storm period.
Fire Station equipment, apparatus and emergency generators have been checked and are in ready status.
Personnel have ensured vehicles have snow chains available
A City of Columbia briefing was held on Friday, January 6, 2017 to communicate safe emergency response expectations during winter weather.
Public Works
Salt is currently on site at Public Works.
Brine spreading began on January 4, 2017 beginning with the bridges and hazardous hills.
Brine spreading continued on January 5, 2017 to include the aprons on Fire Stations located within the City limits.
Communication with SCDOT is ongoing.
If you notice a storm drain which is blocked by debris please notify the Public Works Street Division at 545-3780 during regular business hours and Customer Care at 545-3300 after 5:00 pm and on weekends.  An alternate non-emergency number is 803-252-2911.  For emergencies please call 911. 
Avoiding and Detecting Cold Weather Leaks
With temperatures likely to dip below freezing this evening, the City of Columbia reminds its water customers to take precautions to protect your pipes.
PH08 (2)Inside:
  • Leave your faucets dripping.
  • Disconnect any hoses or lines from your outside spigots.
  • Turn OFF all outside spigots.
  • Cover all outside spigots with blankets or insulated covers. These covers can be found at most hardware stores.
If you believe you have a leak, check for it as soon as you can to minimize water loss. One way to detect a leak is to turn off all spigots then check to see if your water meter is still running. If it is, you may have a leak. For more plumbing tips, visit http://www.columbiasc.gov/customer-care/utility-billing/plumbing-tips/.
If you have had a leak or other plumbing problem, you may be eligible for a charge reduction on your bill after you have fixed it. To find out more about qualifying for this assistance program, visit http://www.columbiasc.gov/customer-care/utility-billing/plumbing-adjustments or call (803) 545-3300.
By taking these few simple steps, you may be able to prevent the hassle and mess of a broken water line at home!
Public and Media Relations
Public and Media Relations will be sharing safety tips and emergency operations updates as needed during the winter storm.
All updated information will be placed on the City of Columbia’s website at Columbiasc.net
Citizens are also urged to follow the City of Columbia’s social media platforms such as:
  • Facebook: City of Columbia
  • Twitter: @CityofColumbia
  • Instagram: @WeAreColumbia
The City of Columbia Incident Response Reports will also be provided, as updates are received from various City departments.
The City of Columbia’s emergency management operation center will be operating throughout the winter storm incident and staff will maintain communication with the City’s Public and Media Relations Department.
Emergency and Non-Emergency Contact Information
Citizens are urged to dial 911 in all emergencies. For all non-emergency situations please call the City of Columbia Customer Care Center at 545-3300.
For additional information visit Columbiasc.net.
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