Snow causing cancellations in Fort Mill

February 11, 2014 

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— Fort Mill schools will be closed Wednesday in anticipation of more snow.

Municipal Court in Fort Mill for Wednesday, Feb. 12, has been canceled due to inclement weather.

Court will be rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 26. This court date applies to tickets originally scheduled for Jan. 29 as well. Ticket holders should check fortmillsc.org for details about what time to report.

Fort Mill Town Hall will be on a three-hour delay Wednesday, but Public Works will observe their normal schedule, a town spokeswoman said.

All local public schools have sent or are planning to send students home early Tuesday.

On Monday night, cold rain, some of it mixed with sleet, fell, possibly heralding what meteorologists caution will be a major winter storm mixed with snow, sleet and ice. The National Weather Service predicts snow will continue into Tuesday evening. There's supposed to be a break in the precipitation before it picks up again Wednesday with more snow, then freezing rain before turning into snow again on Wednesday night. Anywhere between another one to seven inches of snow could fall before the winter storm finally moves on Thursday evening.

Temperatures on Wednesday were supposed to stay below freezing.

Amounts ranging from a dusting to two inches had fallen on York, Chester and Lancaster County by mid-afternoon Tuesday.

Throughout Tuesday morning, the Highway Patrol and several police agencies reported not responding to any major weather-related crashes or incidents.

Police urge residents to avoid driving if they can, she said.

Roads in York County were mostly wet Tuesday morning, creating conditions similar to regular rainfall, said Mike Channell, operations manager of York County's emergency management office.

Emergency crews had not responded to any major incidents, but continue to monitor the forecast and conditions on the roads, he said.

With more emergency vehicles hitting the roads Tuesday, Lance Cpl. Billy Elder with the Highway Patrol cautioned any residents who may be home throughout the day to keep the sledding and "fun and games" away from the road.

“We are watching this storm system closely and urging everyone to have a plan for severe weather,” said Stephanie White, executive director of the Upper Palmetto American Red Cross chapter. “The weather models are showing a wintry mix with freezing rain, snow, and ice for our area, so people need to prepare.”

Some local fire departments are on call to help the county and York County's four-wheel; drive brush trucks are also ready to be used to help drivers and keep the highway clear if state resources cannot keep up with demands for service on I-77.

Duke Energy has begun moving crews in anticipation of a winter storm expected to cover its Carolinas service territory with snow, sleet and ice.

Meanwhile, the state’s electric cooperatives are preparing for the potential of widespread power outages. “This is the kind of scenario you never want to see,” said Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. “Ice storms of this magnitude can cause extensive damage to our system. Unfortunately, it looks like a large number of homes are probably going to lose power in the coming days.” In advance of the storm, 22 line workers from Kentucky arrived in the state today to assist with power restoration efforts. Storm coordinators, as part of a mutual aid agreement among co-ops, will participate in a conference call Wednesday morning and determine whether additional reinforcements are needed. “If this storm produces an inch of ice, we’re going to need as much help as we can get,” said Carter.

“Right now, we have almost 300 linemen on stand-by to help. We’ll draw crews from Mississippi, Florida, as well as more linemen from Kentucky. We’ll decide Wednesday morning whether we have to call them in.” The latest winter blast comes from the combination of cold air building north from Canada and returning low-pressure moisture from the northern Gulf of Mexico, forecasters say, bringing snow, sleet and freezing rains crashing down on the Carolinas and Georgia. Snow fell in the same areas two weeks ago, the result of an arctic cold front that moved through the region to the coast.

Jonathan McFadden of The Herald contributed.

Check back for more updates on the weather

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