COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Latest on the coastal snow storm in South Carolina (all times local):
South Carolina’s largest city has declared a state of emergency nearly 24 hours after a once-in-a-decade snowstorm crippled the coast.
Charleston City Council passed the declaration at an emergency meeting Thursday.
It allows officials to set a curfew and restrict travel, but city spokesman Jack O’Toole says it is just precaution and no major problems had been reported. O’Toole said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg has no intention to use any of those powers at this time.
O’Toole said in a statement that officials are still asking people in Charleston to stay off the roads because the ice didn’t fully melt away Thursday and any water on roads will refreeze by sunrise Friday.
North Charleston also passed a similar state of emergency Thursday.
The Charleston region received anywhere from 2 to 7 inches (5 to 18 centimeters) of snow Wednesday.
A coroner in South Carolina says a man driving home from work was killed when his pickup truck slid off an icy interstate and hit some trees.
Kershaw County Coroner David West said Arther Cumbie Jr. was driving at or below the speed limit around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when his truck left Interstate 20 just east of the Doctor Humphries Road exit around mile marker 103.
West says witnesses told investigators that Cumbie’s truck started sliding on the ice and snow and he lost control.
West says Cumbie was wearing a seatbelt, but died from head injuries. He is the first storm-related death in South Carolina from Wednesday’s ice and snow.
The coroner said in a statement that Cumbie was driving home to Darlington from his job in Lugoff.
The sun is out and temperatures are rising above freezing, but authorities are warning that major highways remain icy in South Carolina.
The Department of Public Safety says parts of Interstate 95 from mile marker 77 around St. George south to the Georgia state line remain closed because of icy patches.
Department of Transportation crews are trying to clear interstates and other major highways, but troopers warn of slow traffic around Beaufort, Charleston and other parts of the Lowcountry.
Gov. Henry McMaster has authorized 20 National Guard members to help stranded motorists and get cars off the highway.
Forecasters expect several hours of temperatures above freezing Thursday, but warn any water that doesn’t evaporate will refreeze on roads overnight.
The American Red Cross says more than 120 people were in its three shelters along the South Carolina coast after a winter storm moved up the East Coast.
The agency said in a news release Thursday morning that the largest group was at Hardeeville-Ridgeville High School in Jasper County, with 86 people.
The Red Cross also provided cots and blankets for two shelters in Colleton County and one in Williamsburg County. They had 81 people early Thursday.
City officials in Charleston continued to work to clear streets and roads Thursday. Most city officers were closed because of the snow.
The South Carolina Transportation Department said it had more than 800 employees working to clear roads. The department said it had spread more than 3,500 tons of salt and 400 tons of sand.
Most of the snow that fell in South Carolina is still here, thanks to cold temperatures expected until at least the weekend.
The National Weather Service had a winter weather advisory in effect along the south coast until late Thursday morning. The weather service said the frozen precipitation creates dangerous driving conditions.
Transportation officials report dangerous conditions east of Interstate 95.
Orangeburg reported 7 inches (18 centimeters) of snow.
A wind chill advisory is in effect for the northeast corner of the state. Forecasters say wind chill readings could drop as low as 0 degrees (-18 Celsius) Friday morning.
Utilities reported about 1,500 customers without electric service Thursday. The biggest problems were in Charleston and Berkeley counties.
Schools were delayed or closed in the eastern part of the state.