Late winter storm knocks out power, blankets area with snow

Published 2:13 pm Monday, March 2, 2009

&bsp;Side roads around Saluda were nearly impassable to all but 4-wheel drive vehicles, and even the main roads, including Hwy. 176 and Ozone Drive, were difficult to travel on Monday.&bsp;

Some outlying areas of Polk County and northern Spartanburg and Greenville counties also received substantial snowfall.

Columbus Fire Chief Geoff Tenannt Geoff says the heaviest snowfall, outside of Saluda, appeared to be to the south and east.&bsp; Fallen trees, power outages and vehicle accidents were reported across the region on Sunday night and Monday morning. Chief Tennant says his department responded to a few wrecks on I-26. He said most of the department&squo;s calls were for truck drivers getting stuck.

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Tennant cautioned that driving could be dangerous again Monday morning in areas where snow and slush turns to ice.

The N.C. Department of Transportation had put sand and salt on many area roads Sunday to help keep them clear. But the North Carolina Highway Patrol warned of the possibility of black ice on Monday night and Tuesday. Temperatures were expected to drop below freezing again Tuesday night.&bsp;&bsp;

Polk County Emergency Services Director Sanda Halford said Monday morning that about 1,300 customers were without power in Polk County. Duke Power had reported nearly 1,500 outages in the county earlier Monday.

Halford said at least a couple lines were down in the county, including one along Country Club Road in Tryon.&bsp; Power outages were also reported in the Green Creek area.

Duke Power reported that the number of outages was higher in Upstate South Carolina where more than 26,000 customers were without power on Monday morning. Power was expected to be restored to most customers later on Monday.&bsp;