COLUMBIA, S.C. — A winter storm brought light snow and freezing rain to South Carolina, leaving thousands without power and closing some schools Tuesday.
The National Weather Service canceled a winter weather advisory in northeastern South Carolina late Tuesday morning. An ice storm warning and freezing rain advisory in the midlands expired at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Schools were closed or delayed across much of the state. Several legislative meetings in Columbia were cancelled, although both chambers were scheduled to hold floor debate Tuesday. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott rescheduled community office hours in various cities.
State transportation officials said all interstates were open and had been plowed.
Duke Energy reported more than 70,000 people without service Tuesday, with the biggest problems in Greenville and Spartanburg counties. More than 2,500 Laurens Electric Cooperative customers were without service, and South Carolina Electric & Gas said about 1,100 customers were affected.
In Greenville, the roads were coated with a half inch of ice. With temperatures slated to drop to near single digits there Wednesday, the ice could stay around for days.
Along the usually busy Interstate 85, traffic was light, and the cars that were on the road drove very slowly.
“This is unbelievable,” said Frank Bellamy, who was headed to from Anderson to Charlotte, North Carolina, for business. The roads were too dangerous, so he got off in Greenville.
“I’m not going to take the chance. I’ll wait until later to see if the ice melts,” said Bellamy, who reported seeing several cars sliding on the interstate.
“When you’re traveling in the dark it can get dangerous,” Bellamy said. “You can’t really see the ice until the last second. You don’t want to slam your brakes because you’ll really be in trouble.”
Mitch Weiss contributed to this report from Greenville.