The fire truck red of the boys' sleds was still bright and shiny, unscathed by having not experienced day after day, winter after winter of snow day races. The wood wasn't worn. Their riders, cold, bright-eyed.
Sumter may not have the rolling …
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Sumter may not have the rolling hills found in cities farther north, but one neighborhood road between Alice Drive Elementary School and Second Mill Pond was slanted enough for those barely broken-out speedsters to provide hours of entertainment the morning after a handful of inches of snow powdered, then iced, the area.
The Associated Press reported the largest snowfall - 8 inches - was found in Williamsburg County near Andrews but claimed areas around Sumter picked up 7 inches. There were about 4 inches on the lawns lining the street where a group of kids were playing Thursday morning.
"I think it caught us all off guard," said Robert Jones, whose two sons, Wyatt, 8, and Jeremiah, 12, were taking turns racing on sleds with their friends.
The children playing all attend Wilson Hall, which was closed Thursday because of Winter Storm Grayson.
Paige Sanders, 10, stood among the Jones brothers and their friends, laying out the rules for the race. You go there, and you go there.
"Yesterday, we tried to go out here, but it was too powdery," Sarah Smith said. Her sons, 9-year-old Banks and 7-year-old Eli, were also taking turns racing. "Now that there's a layer of ice, it's perfect."
The storm may have passed by Thursday, leaving sled-friendly roads and a winter wonderland across the Midlands, but the height of it Wednesday evening was not so fun for Smith's husband.
Sumter County Sheriff's Office and South Carolina Department of Transportation reported traffic was backed up on U.S. 378 because of cars sliding off the road, getting stuck and being unable to make it up an icy hill. Smith said her husband was in traffic for two hours.
Karen Cartrett wrote to The Sumter Item that she was in standstill traffic for three hours.
Once the snow settled and motorists were off the road, Smith was able to enjoy the day off with her kids.
She said it has not snowed like this in Sumter since right around when she moved to the area, which was four years ago.
"And it was way better this time," she said. "Especially for the younger ones; they don't really remember much from the last time."
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