Foothills area sees 1-3.5 inches of snow and ice

Published 6:35 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2015

by Leah Justice

The foothills area was blasted by snow, sleet and freezing rain beginning mid-day Monday, Feb. 16 and the sudden accumulation had emergency workers called out to many stranded motorists and vehicle collisions.

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Despite the amount of ice the area received, there were no reported power outages in Polk County and a few in the Landrum area.

It was the first winter weather event for the area this winter.

The most calls were made from I-26 with the Saluda Fire and Rescue Department responding to many vehicles that became stranded because they could not make it up the mountain and other hills.

The storm began in the Polk County/Landrum area around 2 p.m. Monday and by 3 p.m. the area saw some accumulations on the road.

The Landrum area received approximately one inch of snow and ice, while some areas in Polk County received 1.2 and 1.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Saluda received the most in the area with 3.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The Saluda Fire and Rescue Department said on Tuesday while staff responded to numerous wrecks, stranded motorists and a couple of medical calls during the storm, they also provided mutual aid to the Blue Ridge Fire Department for a large house fire in Zirconia.

The Columbus Fire Department said they responded to seven incidents on Monday and another five incidents on Tuesday morning from 6 a.m. until noon. Columbus mainly responded to stranded motorists and had no reports of trees down or power outages. Columbus also responded to small motor vehicle accidents with minor injuries with the majority of the calls coming from I-26 and Hwy. 108.

The Tryon Fire Department also responded to a few medical calls and had no reports of power outages or motor vehicle accidents.

Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said Tryon’s Public Works Department sanded and scraped roads until around 10 p.m. Monday as well as on Tuesday. He said secondary roads were going to continue to be an issue throughout Tuesday and Wednesday since temperatures dropped Tuesday night.

Polk County Schools dismissed early Monday and were out of school both Tuesday and Wednesday. District One Schools were out for President’s Day on Monday and had snow days both Tuesday and Wednesday as well.

It was not known as of press time if Polk Schools or District One Schools would return on Thursday.

Winter weather is expected to continue this week with blistering temperatures expected to drop to six degrees this morning, Thursday, Feb. 19 with a high of 21 degrees and negative one degree on Friday morning with a high of 29 degrees Friday, according to the weather channel. Another wintry mix is expected on Saturday with a 60 percent chance of precipitation.