The latest on Winter Storm Grayson: Roads throughout Sumter County backed up, cars getting stuck on ice, snow

Plus: current list of closures


Continuing feed on Winter Storm Grayson and closures in Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties.


(All times are Eastern Standard)

12:30 p.m.

De-icing operations are continuing in Lee County, focusing on Interstate-20 eastbound and westbound, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Sumter County is monitoring I-95 temperatures and conditions while focusing their crews on the intersections at U.S. 521/U.S. 15 and U.S. 378/U.S. 261 and other reported icy spots.

The agency is warning motorists that roads are expected to re-freeze Thursday night, creating hazardous conditions over night and Friday morning.


12:09 p.m.

The U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver, collect and sort mail following the storm, the agency announced.

"As postal employees make every reasonable, safe effort to deliver mail today, we ask that postal customers keep sidewalks and paths clear for letter carriers to perform their services safely," the agency said.

Carriers are not allowed to dismount for curbside boxes blocked by snow and ice buildup. Snow must be cleared to the curbline for at least six feet on both sides of the mailbox so the carrier can approach and leave without backing up.

Mail that cannot be delivered today will be attempted again on Friday.

Customers with questions can call 1(800) 275-8777 or send an email to the Postal Service by click on "customer service" at the bottom of the website.


7:30 a.m., Jan. 4

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says driving east of Interstate-95 and I-95 south of I-26 is "strongly discouraged" as "conditions are hazardous."

The agency says de-icing operations are continuing in the "most severaly impacted counties of Sumter and Lee."


9:30 p.m.

Cell phones calls to Sumter's 911 Center "appear to be back to normal," said Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for the Sumter Police Department.

Some people calling the emergency number in Sumter Wednesday night at the height of traffic issues related to the storm were unable to get through, she said.

"The issue appears to have been related to the volume of calls coming in to the area cell phone towers," McGirt said. "Services provided by the 911 Center [were] not interrupted as it continued to receive emergency and non-emergency calls from landlines and some cell phone users."


9:25 p.m.

The Sumter Item will be closed until noon Thursday. The paper may be delayed for some customers until it can be delivered safely from the printers in Charleston.

We appreciate your patience.

Our e-edition will be viewable online as normal Thursday morning.


9 p.m.

According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, precipitation has ended in District 1, and de-icing operations are being conducted "in all counties except Lexington."

District 1 includes Sumter, Lee, Kershaw, Richland and Lexington counties.

Sumter and Lee counties were the most severely impacted, according to SCDOT.

The agency said in an emailed update that, once cleared, roads and bridges will be monitored for "possible refreezing as temperatures fall overnight."


8:25 p.m.

U.S. Highway 378 is moving again, and there are no other "major problems" the Sumter County Sheriff's Office is aware of, according to Public Information Officer Ken Bell.

A resident reached out to The Sumter Item earlier Wednesday evening asking about traffic on the South Carolina Department of Transportation-controlled roadway, saying she had been in standstill traffic heading east for three hours.


7:50 p.m.

Some cell phone users may not be able to get through to 911, Sumter Police Department is reporting.

Tonyia McGirt, public information officer, said to call the department's non-emergency number if this occurs. The number is (803) 436-2700.

Carriers are currently working to address the issue, she said.

"The 911 Center handles calls for all first responder agencies in the city and county of Sumter," she said.


7:15 p.m., Jan. 3

While the snow may have stopped before the sun went down Wednesday, powdery and slick conditions have caused traffic woes throughout Sumter County, and it doesn't seem it will let up before Thursday.

Vehicles are getting stuck trying to make it up the hill to where the Park n' Ride is located on U.S. 378 east just before U.S. 261, said Ken Bell, public information officer for Sumter County Sheriff's Office, and even vehicles trying to reach Hwys. 76/378 from 261 are getting stranded.

All three of those highways are controlled the South Carolina Department of Transportation, which has been notified.

"People should stay off the roads as conditions are expected to worsen throughout the night," he said.

Sumter County Emergency Management Director Erik Hayes said people should stay off the roads if possible and to take caution if they must travel.

He said while most forecasts did not predict ice to be much of an issue Wednesday night, temperatures were low enough during and after snow fell to allow it to stick immediately with no signs of melting before Thursday afternoon.

Hayes said the county will continue to monitor the weather throughout the night and urged residents to let a faucet run to prevent their pipes from freezing and bursting and to take precautions to protect themselves, pets and their house from adverse weather effects.