Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw
By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer
(Walhalla, SC)——————————With the first winter storm of 2016 affecting parts of Oconee County, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office continues its normal and routine enforcement and patrol operations.
“So far, the greatest problems we have seen due to the winter storm has been in the northern part of Oconee County, from Walhalla and points to the north,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Our E-911/Communications center has taken calls of downed trees and power lines, especially in the areas in and around Mountain Rest, Long Creek, Tamassee and Salem. With that being the case, prepare for the possibility that roads could be blocked and very slick due to ice and snow accumulation. The Sheriff’s Office is recommending that residents in these areas stay off the roads if at all possible. Some of the roads where we have seen some issues this morning have been along portions of Highway 28 and Chattooga Ridge Road, for example.”
“We want to remind our citizens, once again, that if they are in need of law enforcement assistance in the county, please contact the Sheriff’s Office and we will respond to those calls,” continues the Sheriff. “The Sheriff’s Office has our deputies and dispatchers working their normal shifts and we are ready to respond and assist our citizens. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 and assistance will be there.”
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for Oconee County until 7pm tomorrow. Also, Oconee County Governmental Offices were put on a three hour delay earlier this morning but according to Emergency Management Director Scott Krein, those offices have now been closed for the day.
“The Sheriff’s Office has made the necessary preparations to deal with the winter weather that has been occurring in our area,” continues the Sheriff. “Our Uniform Patrol vehicles have studded tires on them and we do have several 4 wheel drive vehicles that will be used as primary response vehicles should the need arise. Regardless, our routine law enforcement operations will go on as normal.”
Sheriff Crenshaw also recommends that citizen’s check on seniors or those who may be homebound to make sure they are okay during the storm. The Sheriff’s Office will be glad to go check on anyone in the event they cannot be contacted by telephone. In regards to pets, the Sheriff recommends bringing pets inside during the storm if you can, however, pets can legally remain outside during the storm as long as they have adequate shelter and access to food and water.
The Sheriff’s Office is also recommending that citizens have an alternate source of heat if possible, plus, an adequate supply of batteries and candles in case the power goes out as well as food and medication for up to three to five days. Also, generators should always be operated outside at all times and never brought inside.
The Sheriff’s Office will issue updates as conditions warrant through press releases and social media concerning road closures and safety concerns.