Published Jan. 10, 2011
A winter storm that began near daybreak has coated nearly all of South Carolina in a sheet of snow and ice, causing commuting headaches, school closings, and threatens to keep things frozen into tonight.
As businesses and school administrators considered Sunday evening how they might begin their work week during a second winter blast in less than a month, emergency management officials and S.C. Department of Transportation workers were mobilizing.
At 4 a.m., the DOT reported that snowplows were out in the Upstate and Midlands responding to a “moderate” snowfall, while Lowcountry crews were on standby. That changed hours later as the entire state began to feel the effects of the storm.
By 8 a.m., more than 1,300 S.C. Department of Transportation workers were on the job deploying salt, sand and brine to the state’s highways.
The Midlands were reporting heavy snow fall in all counties, the DOT said..
“All roads are covered with snow and ice. Temperatures range from 27 to 30 degrees. Crews are pushing snow and placing anti-icing materials with the focus of their efforts on interstate routes,” the agency reported in Columbia and Lexington counties.
In Upstate counties, temperatures were as low as 23 degrees as work crews reported heavy snow. Some residents said snow accumulation was between 8 to 10 inches and continuing to fall throughout the morning.
By 10 a.m., sporadic power outages were being reported across the Lowcountry as temperatures remained below or near freezing. All major bridges into Mount Pleasant were closed by midmorning as emergency responders were seen escorting commuters across the Don Holt Bridge on Interstate 526.
Charleston issued a warning urging caution for those going across the lower-elevation bridges that remained open. State emergency management officials asked everyone to stay at home unless they had an emergency.