Greenville County Schools Closed as Winter Storm Hits Carolinas

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Map of the Carolinas

The verdict is official, Greenville County Schools are closed, as the largest school system in the state announced recently. Auto accidents are piling up across the northern portions of the county as commuters leave their homes to find that freezing rain overnight has left slick patches on the roads. More than 220 auto accidents were reported to the state Highway Patrol before 8 a.m. today, and a large majority of those were in Greenville County and the Simpsonville area being hit especially hard. The northern part of the county also had several wrecks, including some in the Paris Mountain and Lake Robinson areas.

But troopers were finding fender-benders, cars in ditches and slick spots across the county. Bridges and overpasses were proving to be most difficult to negotiate as ice can form on them much more easy, as they are elevated and have no ground underneath to help them keep warmer so they are totally exposed to the weather. Nearly 30 of the auto accidents had involved injuries, but no fatalities have yet to be reported.

Road conditions on and around Interstate 185, also known as the Southern Connector, were among the most treacherous spots. The Neely Ferry Road bridge over I-185 was a complete sheet of ice with several accidents, troopers said. The ramp from I-385 south to I-185 north was also being shut down.

In some cases, authorities were having trouble maneuvering on slick roads. A Greenville County sheriff’s deputy could be overheard on his car radio saying that his car had been hit by two other cars but that he was not injured. Five accidents have also been reported on State 418. There were also several automobile wrecks on Fork Shoals Road. The bridge on White Horse Road over Interstate 85 was iced up, and McElhaney Road was being shut down.

Greenville and Pickens county schools are closed for the day due to the icy road conditions. Anderson County schools and Anderson County government offices are operating on a two-hour delay. Greenville County schools had initially announced a two-hour delay, but by 7:30 a.m. school officials elected to close the schools altogether. The temperature is at or just below freezing across Greenville County, according to Accuweather.com. Temperatures are expected to inch above 32 degrees by 9 AM, but the weather trends continue to hamper the globe, especially this last year. We are finally getting to see some of what we can expect for the future I imagine, and things promise to get worse as we continue to post record greenhouse gas emissions.

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