Freezing rain and 20-mph wind gusts welcomed Rock Hill residents early Sunday morning, leaving roads covered and in poor conditions, officials said.
York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris said the roads are “very slick” all over the county. The sheriff’s office is urging residents to stay home and avoid the interstate. Just before 8 a.m., patrol deputies responded to a two-vehicle crash involving a tractor trailer, Faris said.
Rock Hill police also reported slick roads and dangerous driving conditions around noon, and the department advised residents that secondary streets were the most dangerous, according to a tweet.
A tree fell on power lines on Harper Gault Road in Rock Hill, the sheriff’s office said. Officials urged residents not to touch or approach fallen power lines. The main culprit of outages during winter storms is ice buildup that causes trees and branches to fall on power lines, Duke Energy officials said.
Duke Energy reported around 500 customers in York County without service around noon, according to the utility’s outage map. Most of the outages were near York, the map showed. And near Chester, more than 1,000 customers were without service, the map showed.
The City of Rock Hill Utilities outage map showed about 23 customers without power at 12:30 p.m.
York Electric Cooperative showed more than 600 customers in York, Lancaster and Chester counties without service at 12:30 p.m. Most of those were southwest and northwest of Rock Hill, the map showed.
Temperatures across the area have dropped, including in Lancaster and Chester counties, and were expected to stay around freezing throughout the day, weather service officials said. At 9 a.m., the temperature was 28 degrees at the Rock Hill-York County airport.
The freezing rain is expected to continue throughout the afternoon, accumulating up to a quarter of an inch of ice, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts could reach up to 38 mph but should decrease to about 8 to 13 mph in the afternoon, officials said.
Although residents across the county may not see large amounts of snow, York County officials said the freezing rain is a danger on the roads.
There may not be enough snow to cover the grass, but the freezing rain is still coming down. Our emergency management director says road are covered and in poor condition. pic.twitter.com/p9mFVuqK08
— YorkcountySCgov (@YorkCountySCGov) January 16, 2022
The South Carolina Highway Patrol advised residents to stay home and avoid travel. By 10 a.m., there had been several collisions across York, Lancaster and Chester counties, all of which result in no injuries, according to the state’s real-time traffic incident reports.
South Carolina Department of Transportation crews have been plowing snow and ice in along Interstate 77 in York and Chester counties early Sunday, officials said.
“Please be cautious of de-icing operations and reduce your speed,” SCDOT said on Twitter.
Thankful for our teams at @SCDOTPress, @SCEMD, @SCDPS_PIO, and all of our city, county, and statewide partners who are responding to this weekend’s winter storm. Our state is grateful for their dedicated service. https://t.co/hM6y0wPZqN
— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) January 16, 2022
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.