Myrtle Beach, surrounding areas under ice-storm warning. Here’s the latest timeline

JASON LEE/jlee@thesunnews.com
·2 min read

The latest update from the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., indicates forecasters are increasingly confident that the area will see freezing rain, slick roads, and downed trees and power lines caused by ice. The storm is expected to begin early Friday and last through Saturday morning, though ice may not begin to melt for a couple days.

An ice-storm warning is in effect in a South Carolina county and five North Carolina counties, according to the NWS. Those are Horry County, S.C., and Columbus Brunswick, Bladen, New Hanover and Pender counties in North Carolina.

In Horry County, the storm prompted schools to move to online learning Friday, Horry County Schools announced Wednesday.

A winter-weather advisory is underway in eight other counties in the Carolinas, the NWS said. Those are South Carolina’s Georgetown, Florence, Marion, Williamsburg, Darlington, Dillon and Marlboro, and Robeson County in North Carolina.

Freezing rain is expected to begin Friday morning and last through the afternoon as the storm moves south. The storm is expected to end Saturday morning with up to a half-inch of sleet, snow, or both.

Icy conditions are expected to remain throughout the day Saturday, even after precipitation has stopped.

Threats posed by the severe weather include downed trees, power outages and dangerous travel conditions.

“It only takes a quarter inch of freezing rain to add hundreds of pounds of weight onto trees,” Steve Pfaff with the NWS told The Sun News.

The cold front is expected to arrive in the area Thursday evening, moving west to east. Arctic air brought on by the cold front could become dangerous for people without power for long periods of time. The coldest temperatures are expected along I-95, away from the coast.

Dangerous conditions in coastal waters are expected to persist until Saturday evening, including a gale warning in North Carolina waters and a small-craft advisory in South Carolina waters.

Forecasters expect winds between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph, which could add additional stress to icy trees and power lines, the NWS said.

Minor coastal flooding may line up with high tides Friday and Saturday morning, with Wilmington being the most likely to see minor flooding.

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