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.