- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Weather conditions were improving in South Carolina on Thursday after snow and ice fell in the state earlier this week.

The final major problem cause by the winter storm was fixed Thursday afternoon, as the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston reopened after being closed more than 43 hours for ice.

The eight-lane, two-mile bridge closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday as freezing rain began to fall.

The closing left just the Interstate 526 bridge open during Thursday morning’s rush hour from Charleston to Mount Pleasant. It took drivers an hour to make it 12 miles on I-526 from Mount Pleasant to Interstate 26.

The winter storm took one final stab at the Lowcountry, as a freezing rain advisory was issued for Charleston as light rain and drizzle moved through. Forecasters didn’t expect any serious problems.

The rest of the state started thawing out as temperatures rose above freezing Thursday afternoon.

Most roads around South Carolina were dry, but the DOT reported some secondary roads still had patches of snow or ice. By noon, road operations in the state had returned to normal, with the rest expected to go back to a normal schedule by the end of the day, the agency said.

Some schools remained closed Thursday because of the hazardous driving conditions. Other districts opened schools two hours later than usual.

A few schools were also closing Friday as ice spots remained, especially along the coast.

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