- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Numerous wrecks and some power outages were reported Monday night in the Upstate as a storm brought freezing rain to the area.

Road crews and utility workers spent most of the day preparing for the weather, treating roads and putting crews on standby.

By sundown Monday, every city in the Upstate was reporting freezing rain, sleet or snow. And the ice was quickly making roads slippery. As darkness settled, more than 80 wrecks were being reported in Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg counties, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Troopers urged people to stay home unless it was an emergency.

A winter storm warning was in effect for 10 western South Carolina counties that are near or border North Carolina. The winter weather was expected to stay well north of Columbia and west of Florence, according to the National Weather Service.

Significant ice on trees and power lines - at least an quarter of an inch - was forecast to fall north where the warning was issued. Up to four-tenths of an inch of ice could accumulate around Greenville and Spartanburg, forecasters said. That’s close to the half-inch threshold that can cause numerous tree limbs to fall and widespread power outages.

Duke Energy reported about 1,800 power outages in Anderson County on Monday evening. The cause of the outage was not immediately known.

Clemson University closed early because of the weather, and at least two school districts let students out early. A number of districts called off classes for Tuesday.

The state Department of Transportation sent out crews to put brine on roads before the winter precipitation began falling to help keep them from getting icy and slippery.

The last major ice storm in the Upstate was in December 2005, when a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch of ice shut down areas around Greenville and Spartanburg, leaving nearly 400,000 customers without power.

Areas of the Midlands around Aiken and Orangeburg and the Pee Dee from Kingstree to Marion had heavy damage from an ice storm last February.

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