Storm Wreaks Havoc

Ice, Ice Baby –
While most of Blythewood and Fairfield County woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland of ice-coated trees and fences Tuesday morning, Taylor Harrison of Ridgeway awoke to find a large iced tree had fallen on the rear of her red 2013 Prius and had taken with it a telephone pole that landed on the top of the car. Harrison’s younger sister, Rosalee, 8, is shown here dramatically describing her reaction to the devastation caused in the family’s yard by the ice storm. (Photo/Barbara Ball)

BLYTHEWOOD/FAIRFIELD COUNTY – While the Midlands largely escaped the brunt of the winter storm that ripped through the Southeast late Monday night and into Tuesday morning, leaving more than 100,000 homes without power in the Upstate, Fairfield County and a portion of northeast Richland County took some minor punishment.

Monday night’s storm dumped approximately a half-inch of ice on the area, coating trees and power lines and making roads hazardous for travelers. The Fairfield Electric Co-Op reported that around 1,800 customers were affected by the storm overnight as ice-laden trees succumbed to the additional weight and bowed into power lines. By mid-morning on Tuesday, the Co-Op said that number had been cut to approximately 500 customers – 100 in northeastern Richland County and 400 in Fairfield. Most of the damage occurred in the corridor between Blythewood and Ridgeway.

Crews were still on the job Tuesday afternoon, being assisted by crews from the Edisto Electric Co-Op from Bamberg. All power was expected to be restored by Tuesday evening, the Co-Op said.

In Winnsboro, ice began forming around 5 p.m. Monday and by 11 p.m. the first reports of power outages began to trickle in. William Medlin, Director of the town’s Electrical Department, said the outages peaked at around 1,200 customers. By 2 p.m. on Tuesday, however, Winnsboro crews had whittled that down to just two remaining customers.

Fairfield County schools were closed Tuesday, and many of Tuesday night’s games in the first round of the state basketball playoffs in the girls’ bracket were rescheduled for Wednesday, including Fairfield Central’s visit to Indian Land. The Lady Bengals’ first-round game at Goose Creek, meanwhile, remained on schedule.

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