Residents of Aiken and the surrounding area hunkered down on Tuesday as a winter storm threatened to paralyze the South from Texas to Southern Virginia with freezing rain, sleet and snow.
Precipitation turned into sleet and then changed to snow Tuesday evening and into this morning.
Anywhere from 1 to 4 inches of snow hit the area overnight, and many roads are icy this morning.
†A winter storm warning is in effect until 9 a.m. today.
Statewide, The South Carolina Department of Transportation currently has†1,389†maintenance employees involved in road operations.
As of 7:30 a.m., the South Carolina Highway Patrol reports officers have responded to a total†1,240†incidents related to snow and ice.
Thirty-two†S.C. National Guardsman have been placed on state active duty. Soldiers are operating vehicle recovery teams in support of ongoing traffic response activities and providing transportation support for local first responders if needed.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation reported that all the primary routes in Engineering District 7, where Aiken County is located, had been pre-treated in preparation for the storm.
Statewide, the Department of Transportation's employees had applied 369 tons of salt, 35 tons of sand, 2,635 gallons of calcium chloride and 269,925 gallons of salt brine as of noon on Tuesday while pre-treating roads and bridges.
“There will still be a good bit of cloudiness Wednesday and a pretty cold northerly breeze, so temperatures will struggle to get above freezing,” said Al Moore, a hydrometeorological technician for the National Weather Service.
“What does fall could stay on the ground for a while. By Thursday afternoon, we're looking for temperatures to finally get well above freezing, so that's when things should really begin to melt away.”
Today's high will be around 32 degrees and the low overnight will be 15 degrees. The high on Thursday will be 43 degrees.
Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Photo submitted by Katherine Smith Brielle Smith pulls brother Logan in a toboggan during heavy snow late afternoon in February 2010.×
Photo submitted by Harry Thomason In 2010, 9-year-old Selena Gallegos, a third grader at North Augusta Elementary School, tries her own version of "A Christmas Story" with her tongue on a flagpole. Her grandfather, Harry Thomason, said she wanted to see if it would really stick. "Luckily it didn't and I didn't have to call the fire department to get her loose," said Thomason.×
Photo submitted by Katherine Smith Logan Smith makes the requisite "snow angel" in February 2010.×
The living wasn't easy so easy on Easy Street in February 1973 after a record snowfall.×
People enjoyed playing in the snow in February 1973.×
Erin Kinsel goes green and uses a recycle bag for her sled as she slides down one of North Augusta's favorite snow hills in February 2010. Mike Adams photo×
Two horses in the Robert L. Dotter Stables on Two Notch Road donít seem to mind a little snow falling in their grazing area in February 1980.×
STAFF PHOTO BY DEDE BILES Kenneth Harris poses with the salt he was loading onto trucks at the South Carolina Department of Transportationís facility on University Parkway in Aiken on Tuesday afternoon. The Department of Transportation was getting ready for the winter storm that was approaching the area.×
STAFF PHOTO BY DEDE BILES A front-end loader was parked while waiting for a truck to arrive so salt can be loaded on to it at the South Carolina Department of Transportationís facility on University Parkway.×
STAFF PHOTO BY DEDE BILES Kenneth Harris drives a front-end loader that was getting ready to put salt on a truck on Tuesday afternoon at the South Carolina Department of Transportationís facility in Aiken on University Parkway. The Department of Transportation was getting ready for the approaching winter storm by pre-treating primary roadways.×
Aiken's scenic fountain was blanketed by about two inches of snow in February 1980.×