- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The latest developments in a winter storm bringing snow and freezing rain to portions of South Carolina:

4:35 p.m.

The latest round of snow, sleet and freezing rain are causing a number of wrecks in the Upstate.

State troopers say they are working several wrecks on Interstate 85 in Anderson County and Interstate 385 in Laurens County, both of which are slowing traffic.

The Department of Transportation reports slush on many roads in the Upstate, but no roads have been closed Friday.

Troopers in the post that covers the five counties along I-85 reported more than 50 incidents around 4 p.m. Friday, most of them crashes without injuries.

No fatalities have been reported in South Carolina during the winter storm.

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2:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service reports several inches of snow have fallen in the Upstate and ice has coated branches as far south as the northern suburbs of Columbia.

Forecasters said more snow, sleet and freezing rain are coming for areas that have already been hit.

The Weather Service says snow is on the ground along most of the Interstate 85 corridor, with up to 4 inches in the higher elevations of Greenville and Spartanburg counties.

Many locations reported a tenth of an inch glaze of ice on branches and other elevated surfaces in the northern Midlands and Pee Dee.

Sleet was reported as far south as Moncks Corner.

No major traffic problems were being reported Friday afternoon on interstates in the Upstate, but the Department of Transportation warned some roads were slushy and could refreeze.

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2:30 p.m.

The number of power outages in South Carolina from the winter storm is increasing.

Utilities across the state reported about 28,000 customers without electricity around 2 p.m. Friday.

Duke Energy reported almost 20,000 power outages, with the majority of them in Greenville County.

The state’s smaller electric cooperatives reported about 8,000 outages, centered in Pickens and Greenville counties.

Forecasters say the hardest hit areas have seen a lull, but more snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected through the rest of Friday.

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11:15 a.m.

Conditions are getting treacherous on some interstates in northern South Carolina.

The state Department of Transportation says Friday that Interstate 77 is partially covered with ice in Chester County. Portions of that roadway in York County are covered in a slushy mix.

DOT says all major roadways in Greenville County, including Interstate 85, are covered in some sort of precipitation, from rain to snow and ice. In Spartanburg County, there is snow on interstates 26 and 85, as well as all other U.S. and state roads listed on the department’s website.

At least 4 people have been killed in snowstorm-related traffic crashes, including two women in North Carolina.

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9:15 a.m.

Transportation crews across South Carolina are preparing the state’s roadways as precipitation continues and temperatures are predicted to dip.

The state Department of Transportation says its crews worked through the night to distribute more than 2,000 tons of salt on roads across the state. Officials say about 130 tons of sand has been put out on roads, too.

DOT says its crews are working in 12-hour shifts. Rain and freezing rain continue to fall throughout the state, and forecasters say that could begin to change to snow later in the day.

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7 a.m.

Minimal power outages have been reported in South Carolina as a winter storm moves through the state.

Duke Energy reported online that less than a 150 of its nearly 300,000 customers in northern South Carolina were without power Friday morning. A winter storm warning was in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday for that part of the state, and forecasters predicted some could see up to half a foot of snow.

In South Carolina’s central and southern regions, South Carolina Electric and Gas says that fewer than 500 customers were without power as of 6:30 a.m. Friday. Nearly all of those outages were in Richland County, where a steady rain fell early Friday, and temperatures were near the freezing mark.

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6:15 a.m.

Much of northern South Carolina is under a winter weather advisory as what forecasters call a “potentially crippling winter storm” begins to pass through.

The National Weather Service said Friday a winter storm warning was in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday across the state’s northern counties. Forecasters predicted some areas could up to six inches of snow. Many schools in the area were closed Friday, including Clemson University’s main campus.

Just south, another string of counties was under a freezing rain advisory through 1 p.m. Friday, with up to one inch of accumulation possible.

Steady rain fell early Friday across South Carolina’s capital region, where temperatures hovered around freezing.

Forecasters have predicted heavy snow and high winds across the northern mid-Atlantic, including Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia and New York City.

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Reach Kinnard at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/ .

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