Power outages growing as the ice storm arrives
|By Joey Holleman, The State (Columbia, S.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
State officials plea for people not to get on the highways unless absolutely necessary. Secondary roads already had a layer of slush early in the morning.
The lights were still on in
The total number of outages reported statewide by SCE&G was about 8,400, and 1,000 more by the electric cooperatives.
As conditions worsen, more outages are possible. A half-inch of ice could add 250 to 500 pounds of extra weight to power lines,
However, SCE&G and the state's electric cooperatives have local crews and many who have come in from other states on standby to help restore power.
The timing of the change from sleet/snow to freezing rain is key. The forecasted timing has gone back and forth, and now is expected to begin in mid-morning Wednesday in most of the
Forecasters warn the worst is yet to come from the double-barreled winter storm, after a first wave on Tuesday that featured pretty snow in the northern
The second wave is expected to slap enough ice on trees and power lines to be considered a major ice storm throughout much of the
The worst of the storm's damaging ice is expected to arrive in the
Nearly an inch of ice is expected in a corridor from
While the northern
"We have cedar trees that already are completely bent over with that wet, sticky snow," said
The timing of the arrival of the freezing rain is tricky, depending on temperatures at various levels in the atmosphere as the second slug of moisture replaces the first. Sleet and freezing rain are equally troublesome on roads, but sleet is less of a concern for power companies because it sticks less to tree limbs and power lines.
The forecast calls for frozen precipitation through early Thursday for much of the
The last time an ice storm of this magnitude hit the
Roads are likely to be dicey most of the day Wednesday and early Thursday, but the more serious concern in ice storms is power outages. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power during the 2004 storm.
Most of the Upstate got some snow Tuesday and much more is expected from the second wave.
The Lowcountry is forecast to get less of the ice, though still more than a quarter-inch in some areas.
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