Post and Courier
September 23, 2014

Ravenel Bridge, Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley schools all closed again today

Posted: 02/12/2014 01:03 p.m.
Updated: 02/12/2014 06:28 p.m.


Staff and wire reports

Another day of icy weather, another day of closings. 

Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county schools were closed Wednesday and will be closed again Thursday.

Charleston Southern University will also be closed Thursday.

The Ravenel Bridge between Charleston and Mount Pleasant is still closed because of ice falling from towers and cables, the state Department of Transportation reported at 4 a.m. The Don Holt and Wando bridges remain open. 

An ice storm warning for the Lowcountry will remain in effect until 10 a.m. today, according to the National Weather Service. Freezing rain will last through the morning, causing ice to accumulate up to a quarter of an inch.

Today's highs will be around 40 with lows around 30, the Weather Service reports. A near 100 percent chance of precipitation is expected with wind gusts up to 25 mph.

Crews have been treating the Ravenel Bridge with brine mix since 9:15 p.m. Tuesday and began treating it with granular salt around 3:45 a.m., according to state Department of Transportation spokesman Robert Kudelka.

CARTA buses will take the Don Holt Bridge for all Mount Pleasant routes due to the Ravenel Bridge closure, spokesman Daniel Brock said. Mount Pleasant's Towne Center will serve as a transfer point.

For more information on today's bus routes visit CARTA's website. Riders should expect delays.

The icy storm caused dangerous road conditions this morning. S.C. Highway Patrol received several reports of fallen trees and power lines throughout the area. The Highway Patrol urged drivers to stay off of the roads due to the hazards.

A power line fell across I-26 between Harlyeville and Ridgeville Wednesday afternoon, shutting down the highway in both directions for a couple hours.

Sheriff's deputies warned of similar dangers.

"The driving conditions in Dorchester County are very poor at best, with downed trees, power lines and a small accumulation ice on the highway. It is very dangerous to drive at this time," Chief Deputy Sam Richardson.

Tree branches were reported in the roads in Ravenel, Hollywood, Adams Run, Ladson and Lincolnville, according to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

Trees branches were falling down all around the Summerville area Wednesday. Traffic lights were out at 17-A and I-26 near Summerville Wednesday afternoon. Traffic lights also went out at major intersections in Moncks Corner.

A tree fell on a house on Miami Street in Ladson, displacing a family of five. The Red Cross helped them.

Stores and shopping centers in the Oakbrook area of Summerville had to close early Wednesday because they lost power.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, S.C. Electric & Gas reported 33,445 customers without power in Dorchester County, 7,400 in Charleston County and 5,672 in Berkeley County.

Berkeley Electric Cooperative reported 35,000 households in the dark as of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Deteroriating weather conditions were making it hard for crews to restore power, according to an announcement from the utility.

The Highway Patrol reported dozens of accidents statewide as snow and ice-slicked highways knocked down trees and power lines and made driving hazardous. At 8 a.m., snow was reported in the Upstate with freezing rain farther south.

All interstates across South Carolina were passable, but there was snow and slush in some places.

North Charleston city offices will open at noon Thursday.

Here is a list of additional closings and delays.

Flight cancellations

Charleston International Airport remains open, but dozens of arriving and departing flights have been canceled, mainly to and from cities affected by the winter storm.

"The runways are still open," said Airports Director Paul Campbell. "We just have issues at other airports with flights coming in."

Departures to and arrivals from New York, Chicago, Detroit, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, Washington, Baltimore, Dallas and Newark, N.J., were canceled this morning. Not all flights to those destinations were affected, however.

Check departing flights here.

Check arrivals here.

Conditions are expected to improve Thursday with partly sunny skies, highs in the upper 40s and lows in the mid 30s. A 50 percent chance of precipitation is expected with a trace of ice accumulation possible, the Weather Service reports.

Mostly sunny skies are expected Friday with highs in the upper 50s and lows around 40. A slight chance of rain is possible at night with winds up to 15 mph.

Gov. Nikki Haley again declared a state of emergency as emergency officials worried that as much as an inch of ice accumulating on trees and power lines Wednesday into Thursday could knock out powers to thousands, especially in the Midlands.

At daybreak Wednesday, it was snowing from the Upstate in Anderson to the south Midlands near Walterboro. The Upstate and the mountains were expecting as much as 10 inches of snow. Snowfall totals were expected to be less moving southward toward the Midlands.

Freezing rain was reported along the coast. Winter storm warnings were posted for most of the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.