South Carolina Gets 'A+' for Storm Response

Experts says early prepardness was key

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By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- As Governor Nikki Haley rescinds the state of emergency status issued earlier this week, weather and disaster experts are giving the Palmetto State high marks for its handling of Winter Storm 2014, unlike neighboring southeastern states.

Into our newsroom today, the headline reads, "South Carolina Returning to Normal Operations." Governor Nikki Haley rescinded the State of Emergency Executive Order at Noon today, symbolizing it's okay to go back to business as usual.

Calling for that measure Tuesday at Noon, in the first place, anticipating the winter storm that eventually pounded the state, was the right call, according to Dr. Christopher Emrich. He researches disasters in the Geography department at the University of South Carolina, saying "South Carolina's management of the situation gets a '10.' That's not easy for me to say that." Putting a spin on an old adage, he went on, "an ounce of preparedness is worth a pound of response."

ABC Columbia weather expert, Jonathan Oh, agrees.

"We didn't have to deal with kids stuck on buses, cars stuck on the roads because people were fully aware," said Oh.

He claims "meteorologists, particularly in South Carolina and Georgia, had an idea of what could happen beginning Sunday."

Oh and Emrich believe wires were crossed when government officials in Georgia didn't heed watches or warnings, creating a catastrophe folks won't soon forget.

Residents here at home admit, though, they had their own doubts about our local and state response.

"Initially, i thought it was overkill," said Pamela Kloot.

"I really thought they shouldn't shut it down Tuesday," said Ben Dietrich.

However, they soon realized it was 'better to be safe than sorry.'

"All and all, we were able to get through this storm effectively and safely," said Oh.

And while the snow from Winter Storm 2014 in South Carolina is quickly becoming a memory, weather experts say it's never too soon to start preparing for the next storm. For more information, visit www.stormready.noaa.gov.

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Hootie said on Friday, Jan 31 at 3:15 AM

THANK YOU Governor Haley!!!!!!!!!!! South Carolinians are fortunate indeed to have you as our governor!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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