After three snow days, students went back to school this morning in Rock Hill and Fort Mill on a three-hour delay. But not everyone could make it in because of the icy conditions.
Several Rock Hill school buses were unable to complete their routes this morning, said the district's transportation director, George Hampton.
Drivers can't make it all the way down some roads, Hampton said.
"Some parts may be fine, but then there may be a real long, steep hill with a creek bridge still covered in ice," Hampton said. "We can't send a bus down a hill like that."
He said 88 bus drivers are on the roads doing the "best they can."
"Drivers are all different people and they all make their own judgment calls as to what roads their bus can go down," Hampton said.
Hampton has been keeping track of the routes, and has submitted a list of nine roads that need attention by the SC Department of Transportation. Three additional roads can't be scraped because they're narrow, dirt roads or have steep ditches.
If temperatures continue to rise and ice melts, Hampton is more optimistic about the afternoon drive home.
Superintendent Lynn Moody urged families to use their best judgment when deciding whether to drive children to school.
"We'll always excuse them on weather issues," she said.
Anyone with questions about buses should call the district office at 803-981-1000.
Things ran smoothly for Fort Mill schools this morning, Executive Director of Pupil Services Tommy Schmolze said.
Like in Rock Hill, classes started three hours late. No buses were late and no students were left waiting, Schmolze said.
One area appeared troublesome, but Transportation Director Mark Vigeant drove a bus himself to pick up students.
“Kudos to our transportation and maintenance departments,” Schmolze said. “They were at school since yesterday at 7 a.m. clearing driveways and roadways ... to make sure kids were safe.”
As businesses return to normal operating hours today, motorists should still take caution, said Trooper Billy Elder of the Highway Patrol.
"Secondary roads in the rural areas which haven't been traveled much" are likely to be most hazardous for drivers, said Cotton Howell, York County's director of emergency management.
"We're hoping we don't get too comfortable with the dry roads that we have and hit the icy spots."
State road crews planned to work through Wednesday night on secondary roads, revisiting the interstates and primary roads as needed, said John McCarter, District 4 administrator for the S.C. Department of Transportation.
DOT has gotten some calls for plows to scrape specific streets, McCarter said, but workers aren't deviating from their plan except for emergencies.
"It's hard to get them all. We just don't have the equipment and the manpower," he said. "Some of them, the weather may take care of before we do."
From midnight Tuesday to noon Wednesday, York County reported 96 accidents, Lancaster County had 23, and Chester had 22, Elder said.
Today's and Friday's low temperatures will be in the teens, with highs in the upper 30s. Temperatures will moderate this weekend, with Sunday's high reaching into the upper 40s, according to the National Weather Service.
The skies will be mostly clear today and Friday, before turning partly cloudy this weekend. There is a chance of rain early next week.
Delayed starts: Rock Hill and Fort Mill schools will open three hours late.
Closings: York schools and Chester and Lancaster county schools will be closed today. Clover schools will be closed for students. Employees start work two hours later than usual.
Winthrop University and York Tech will resume normal hours today.