Colleton County Fire-Rescue


Approximately seven inches of snow blanketed the Lowcountry Region Friday evening 12-February, starting around 17:00. As beautiful as the rare event was, it wreaked havoc for emergency services and power companies as the storm immobilized the Colleton County Area. Shortly after the snow began to fall, the motor vehicle collisions began. Most were single vehicle MVCs caused when cars lost control on the slick road surfaces. Many ended up in the ditch or down an embankment. Injuries in most cases were non-existent or minor. All Medic units were tied up for most of the evening and early morning Saturday, checking MVCs and tending to patients who lost power, thus losing their home medical devices. As the snow built up on trees, breaking limbs brought down multiple power lines, sending Engines on many responses. Fire-Rescue crews had 4x4 units assigned to patrol the interstate as the storm began until the traffic finally stopped flowing around 21:30. Units patrolled between the exits covering all 28 miles of I-95 within our jurisdiction. Most motorists just needed to be winched back to the pavement. Those who were too far off the roadway were transported to a motel until a wrecker could safely pull them out the next day.

Power Company crews worked through the night and the next several days restoring power and tending to downed power lines. It was reported that nearly 80% of one company’s customers were without power early Saturday morning. Responding crews from all agencies had extended response times due to the blinding snow conditions, which fortunately only lasted about six hours. Crews could only safely drive about 10 to 15 MPH. DOT officials were out in force clearing roads with heavy equipment. Many volunteer firefighters manned stations throughout the county and cleared downed trees with chain saws. Once the sun was up Saturday morning the snow began to melt away, allowing cleanup crews to open roads. Local restaurants who had power did a booming business since residents couldn’t cook at home.

Fire-Rescue logged 49 responses Friday evening with another 39 responses Saturday.