Due to predicted inclement weather, including freezing rain that could leave ice on bridges and overpasses, Beaufort County is closing its government offices, facilities and convenience centers at noon Friday. Emergency services and law enforcement will remain available.
The county is advising commuters who live north of Yemassee to exercise extreme caution as they travel Saturday, and traveling north toward Charleston and Columbia is not recommended.
“Beaufort County is working with SCDOT and the Beaufort County Sheriff to quickly identify hazardous road conditions,” county spokesperson Chris Ophardt said. “Public works will have crews on stand-by to assist and a dump truck with sand if needed.”
Both Hilton Head Island Airport and Beaufort Executive Airport will remain open, although travelers should regularly check their flights for delays and cancellations.
The city of Beaufort is closing its offices at 3 p.m., spokesperson Kathleen Williams said. Town Manager Van Willis said Port Royal will close at 3 p.m., too.
Beaufort County School District spokesperson Candace Bruder said Friday that the district intends to keep schools open for the full day Friday, but has canceled all afterschool activities.
Jasper County’s administrative offices and convenience centers will close at noon Friday. The Town of Bluffton’s offices will close at 1 p.m., which is the town’s normal schedule, according to spokesperson Debbie Szapanka.
A Hilton Head Island coronavirus testing site will be closed on Friday and Saturday, but tests will be offered Sunday.
Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency in a tweet on Wednesday, citing the anticipation of snowfall, freezing rain, accumulation of snow and ice, and other hazardous conditions in certain areas of the state.
Beaufort County is expected to experience heavy rain, flooding and dropping temperatures toward freezing. Residences can monitor the Sheriff department’s updates through NIXLE and social media.
County officials will continue to monitor the storm and will decide on Friday about convenience centers’ operations for Saturday.