Before spring officially arrives in about a month’s time, winter is making one last stand in South Carolina.
A winter ice storm that hit the Upstate and Piedmont is not as severe as last year’s snow and ice storm that knocked out power for nearly a half-million customers in 2014, but Monday night’s winter storm was the worst winter weather South Carolina has seen this season. Cold temperatures and frozen precipitation made travelling conditions dangerous, and plagued most of the state early Tuesday morning leaving nearly 100,000 residents without power.
Power outages spanned all across the state Tuesday morning from Spartanburg to Charleston. As of 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Duke Energy (which provides power to most of the Upstate) reported 2,064 outages affecting 98,613 customers. Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative also reports about 8,500 outages in the Upstate. South Carolina Electric and Gas (which serves most of the Midlands and some coastal areas) reported 658 total outages, mostly in Fairfield County.
According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, state government offices in 14 of the state’s 46 counties operated on a delayed schedule. Four counties (Anderson, Marlboro, Oconee, and Spartanburg) closed government operations for the day.
The storm is moving out of South Carolina, but the cold weather remains. Since temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s again Tuesday night, forecasters are still warning about icy conditions on many roads overnight.
Jeremy Urso contributed to this report