HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The impending ice storm that is expected to affect a large portion of South Carolina may be one of the worst in a very long time, according to meteorologists. The most recent comparable event occurred January 24-26, 2004- just over ten years ago. The storm brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to much of the state and left more than 300,000 people without electricity- many were without power for over a week after the storm.
The freezing rain was a major problem in many areas, causing heavy damage to trees and knocking down power lines. The worst damage occurred in Edgefield, Aiken and Orangeburg counties, with damage totals topping $60 million. The Pee Dee received anywhere from a half to three-quarters of an inch of ice, which tapered off toward the coast- the Grand Strand recorded no measurable ice accumulation, though some inland areas of Horry County saw up to half an inch.
The disastrous 2004 storm is being compared to the coming ice storm event that is expected across the state tonight through Thursday morning. Some areas of the Pee Dee could see up to .75" of ice, which could cause downed trees and power lines and disrupt power for extended periods of time. Areas closer to the Grand Strand are far less likely to see significant accumulating ice, though inland Horry and Georgetown counties could see up a quarter inch of ice.