More than an inch of snow fell across York, Chester and Lancaster counties Saturday afternoon, with some places getting thunder-snow and more than three inches and causing havoc for drivers, emergency officials said.
With temperatures this morning expected to be as low as 20 degrees, and not reaching above freezing for several hours even with sunny skies today, officials urged motorists to use caution if venturing out.
Some residents could hear the thunder when the storm pushed in just after 4 p.m. A few places in York County experienced thunder-snow, and higher accumulations in what were storm spots inside the system, said Cotton Howell, York County Emergency Management director. Some residents in York, Lake Wylie, Clover, and near the Bethesda community south of Rock Hill had the thunder and heavier snow, Howell said.
S.C. Highway Patrol troopers responded to at least 35 crashes in the three counties Saturday afternoon and evening, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety's Web site. Today's travel to and from church is likely to be more difficult than a usual Sunday, Howell said.
Any time this happens there is the potential for black ice on those bridges and shady spots, Howell said.
Although snow had stopped falling by around 7 p.m. Saturday in most places as the storm moved east, emergency officials remained concerned that roads in the morning would be slick.
People should use caution and check with their church to see if services might be delayed or even cancelled before venturing out, said Lt. Jeff Reece of the Fort Mill Fire Department late Saturday. We have been very busy as the snow fell, but the concern doesn't end when the snow stops. The roads will still be icy with it so cold.
Emergency officials in York and Clover reported heavy snow Saturday afternoon and travel conditions that slowed to as low as 15 mph in some places. A jack-knifed tractor trailer on S.C. 55 west of Clover closed the road to be closed for several hours, and other areas in Chester County and north of York reported trees down in roads. But by late Saturday, most roads were clear.
The storm coming through late afternoon on a Saturday, with Monday a holiday for schools, means that even with tough travel through at least mid-day today that schools, government offices, and other public functions should see only limited, if any effects, Howell said. Dozens of kids - and even adults - could be seen Saturday before dark sledding and building snowmen.
The weekend should mean, if people are careful driving, that this snow is a fun snow, Howell said.
The quick-hitting storm dumped about two inches in Sharon west of York, said Stephanie Eddington, a clerk at Brownie's convenience store. The storm brought what it always brings in the South: shoppers looking for essentials just in case.
The roads seem to be pretty good, but we did sell out of milk, she said.