Governor Mark Sanford has declared a state of emergency for all of the state’s 46 counties after up to eight inches of snow fell in some parts of the South Carolina.
However, emergency officials are urging residents to prepare for the worst tonight, as freezing rain will lay up 0.2 inches of ice on top of the accumulated snowfall, making the already hazardous roads even more dangerous for drivers.
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport was closed to departing flights, but some flights are now resuming. An airport spokesperson said a few arrivals have landed Monday. Forecasters are currently calling for up to 9-12 inches in some parts of the Upstate before the precipitation switches to sleet.
The Midlands are reporting up to six inches in the rural counties, although Columbia is reporting four inches. The area received additional freezing rain in the afternoon. The accumulation even pushed back the beginning of the General Assembly’s new 2011 session. Both houses of the state legislature will now meet at 3:30 Tuesday instead of noon.
Incoming Governor Nikki Haley’s inaugural celebration was also affected. A staff member confirmed Tuesday’s Family Fun Night was canceled due to the weather.
Meanwhile, the Pee Dee is reporting similar levels of snowfall. Forecasts say an additional inch or two could fall on top of an estimated 4-6 inches this morning.
While the Lowcountry has not received snow, treacherous conditions still exist there.The Arthur Ravenel and Don Holt bridges in Charleston are now open again after both were closed in the morning. Temperatures will sit near the freezing point Tuesday morning, prompting warnings that bridge travel may be hazardous in the early hours.
In the Piedmont, roads are almost impassable as six inches of snow now turns to icy sludge.
Statewide, the Highway Patrol is reporting more than 1, 400 accidents along South Carolina’s highways. Officials are urging motorists not to go out onto the roads unless it is absolutely necessary.