MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Winter weather has impacted the News13 viewing area, leaving icy conditions and snow for us to wake up to around the region.
10:55 a.m. Saturday
As weather conditions continued to improve Saturday morning, Santee Cooper reported 65 customers still without power as of about 10:45 a.m. A majority of those — 48 — are in the Pawleys Island and Litchfield areas. The others are in the North Myrtle Beach area.
10:30 a.m. Saturday
News13’s Matt Fortin had a little fun in the snow Saturday morning while reporting on conditions in the Florence area.
10:05 a.m. Saturday
Horry County has moved to OPCON 2, meaning the county is operating in a heightened state of awareness to address the impacts from winter weather but has seen improving conditions.
In a news release, the county said the Emergency Operations Center will stand down at 10 a.m. and that the Road and Drainage hotline will be discontinued at 11:30 a.m. The hotline will resume normal operations on Monday.’
All county government facilities will remain closed and all programs are canceled on Saturday and Sunday. This includes the Horry County Museum, L.W. Paul Living History Farm, recreation and community centers and libraries.
Horry County public safety departments will continue to operate and officials urged everyone to be careful if traveling on Saturday and to watch for more freezing conditions Saturday night and Sunday morning.
9:55 a.m. Saturday
Horry County fared better than anticipated during the winter storm Friday night and Saturday morning, according to Thomas Bell, a spokesman for the Horry County Emergency Management Department.
Most of the power outages from overnight have been restored, and as of Saturday morning, icy spots remained on secondary roads, but no roads were blocked because of the weather. Bell also reported some fallen trees but no major damage.
The Horry County police and fire rescue departments reported handling a normal volume of calls during the peak of the winter weather.
Officials will continue to monitor conditions and the potential for re-freezing Saturday evening and night, he said. The Horry County Emergency Operations Center continues to operate at OpCon 1 level.
9:40 a.m. Saturday
Brookgreen Gardens will remain closed on Saturday because of the winter weather and icy conditions. It will reopen at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.
8:50 a.m. Saturday
168 Santee Cooper customers are without power in the Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach areas (estimated restoration time is still being assessed by Santee Cooper).
There are currently three crashes reported on the South Carolina Highway Patrol website, one in Florence and two in Horry County.
5:36 a.m. Saturday
169 Santee Cooper customers in the Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach areas are without power (estimated restoration time is still being assessed by Santee Cooper).
2 People are without power in Florence, according to the Santee Cooper website.
There are currently six crashes reported on the South Carolina Highway Patrol website, one in Dillon County, three in Florence County, and two in Horry County.
5:10 a.m. Saturday
Precipitation has mainly stopped, lingering just a bit along the coast. Post-storm ice accumulation is widespread on many surfaces, with up to a few inches of snow for areas further inland! Be safe out there with bridges and overpasses staying as the main travel risks.
12:07 a.m. Saturday
Icy conditions are expected to continue overnight.
Power lines caught on fire in Murrells Inlet near Inlet Square Mall, causing an explosion. Video can be seen in the player above.
Power was restored to Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Nearly 4,000 people are now without power in Horry County, primarily in the Myrtle Beach area, according to Santee Cooper’s online outage map.
Myrtle Beach International Airport has been running on a generator for a couple of hours, according to officers at the airport’s information desk. The few flights left Friday have all been canceled.
Crews in Georgetown County removed a downed tree from the road on Waverly Road near Kings River Road, according to Georgetown EMD. Drivers are urged to stay off the roads.
Snow is falling in parts of the Pee Dee. News13’s Lacey Lee is at Bojangles on South Fourth Street.
A dog owner is facing charges after leaving their pet outside in freezing rain and ice in Horry County.
More than 4,000 Santee Cooper customers in the Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach areas are without power.
Sleet is falling in Florence and snow is being seen in places like Wallace.
Power outages have begun in the North Myrtle Beach and Little River areas. Santee Cooper is reporting about 1,600 customers are without power in North Myrtle Beach and another 150 are without power in Little River.
Ice is beginning to form on surfaces in Latta as well as buildings in Darlington County.
Roads in Darlington County are mostly wet. News13’s Jack Bilyeu is at a gas station on Pearl Street in Darlington where cars pulling in do have ice forming on them.
The YMCA of Coastal Carolina announced that facilities would be closed Saturday due to the weather. This applies to facilities in Myrtle Beach and Georgetown.
Conditions in Horry County towards the North Carolina border are starting to deteriorate. While it is not pouring, the rain is steady and now that the sun has set, conditions are expected to worsen as asphalt temperatures drop.
Freezing rain is beginning to fall across the area.
Multiple SCDOT cameras from the Myrtle Beach area are covered in ice, including Highway 17 Bypass at Palmetto Point Boulevard and Highway 544 at Dick Pond Road.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation camera at Highway 17 Bypass and 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach appears to be covered in ice.
Most of the remaining flights out of Myrtle Beach International Airport Friday have been canceled. Some Saturday morning flights have also been canceled.
The cold weather Friday wasn’t enough to keep Mark Mitchell, a snowbird from New York, off the beach. He said he spends about six hours at the beach every day looking for shells.
“I’m an idiot — I’m obsessed,” Mitchell said. “This is when I like it, when no one else is out here. Now I have the beach to myself and I can try to find as many cool things as possible.”
Mitchell said he plans to be out on the beach again Saturday morning.
Meteorologist Tony Chiavaroli provided an update on the timing of impacts.
Impacts are expected to start after 4 p.m. when surface temperatures begin to get below freezing. Bridges will begin to freeze over before other road surfaces which will take until this evening to start icing.
The National Weather Service said there have been social media reports of overpass icing along Highway 90 near Longs.
New Directions of Horry County will open its Men’s and Women’s shelters for “Code Blue” and will offer emergency overnight shelter beyond capacity for those who may be on the streets.
McLeod Health announced that the health and fitness centers in Florence and Loris will be closed Saturday. The Florence facility closed at noon Friday and the Loris facility closed at 1 p.m.
The City of Myrtle Beach has closed The Grande Dunes bridge until temperatures go back above freezing, according to the city.
The National Weather Service announced predicted snowfall estimates for the region in a tweet late Friday afternoon.
Between one to two inches is expected in Hartsville, Dillon, Florence and Marion, according to a graphic. Lumberton and Bennettsville are predicted to have between one to two inches.
Loris is expected to see less than an inch.
Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach are not predicted to receive snow.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for parts of the Pee Dee, including Marlboro, Darlington and Dillon Counties. In North Carolina, a Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Robeson County.
The warning will be in place until noon on Saturday.
Florence County has announced they have moved to OPCON 2 – Enhanced
OPCON 2 is a maximum preparedness level and indicates that a disaster or
emergency situation is imminent.
Horry County Government has moved to OPCON 1 (Level 1 Operating Condition) meaning the county is now operating at full alert to address the severe winter weather event.
Horry County Government advises residents to take proper preparedness measures for the event.
Preparedness measures include:
- Ensuring electronic devices are charged in advance of precipitation falling
- Having nonperishable food and water readily available
- Checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Following proper use of generators and alternative heating sources should you need them
- Staying off roads once winter precipitation starts falling
- Monitoring the forecast
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the entire viewing area through Saturday morning. An Ice Storm Warning is also in effect for Horry County. West of I-95 will mostly be sleet. Between I-95 and Conway will be mostly freezing rain. The coastal areas will see mostly rain and freezing rain.
This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.