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Patrol reports wrecks related to storm

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By Reece Murphy

A fast-moving low-pressure system out of the Mississippi River Valley brought freezing rain to Lancaster County on Thursday morning that caused havoc for drivers on county roads.
National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn Smith said the area was under a winter weather advisory until 10 a.m. Smith said the freezing rain was the result of precipitation, several days of cold weather and cold air extending to high altitudes.
“There wasn’t any damage as far as trees down, no significant ice accumulation, but we did get some reports of light icy accumulation that led to accidents,” Smith said. “In many areas, it caused just a thin layer of ice on the roads that most people wouldn’t even notice, but then it doesn’t take much to take that traction out from under you.”
Billy Elder, spokesman for the S.C. Highway Patrol, said there were dozens of accidents across Lancaster and Chester counties.
“They were spread out fairly evenly across the entire area, so there was no one area that was hit harder than the rest,” Elder said. “There were some reported that required medical attention, but none that resulted in any fatalities.”
Smith said temperatures today and this weekend should be warmer than Thursday, though a new system is forming in the Gulf of Mexico, which could bring rain in the early morning hours Saturday.
By Sunday, all should be sunny with highs in the 40s and lows in the upper 20s overnight.
So what about Christmas? Is there a chance of snow?
“That’s still a little far out to forecast,” Smith said. “We can make a guess, but it’s all based on models, and models can change four times in a day.”

Contact reporter Reece Murphy at rmurphy@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151