One year ago, Lowcountry experienced 'Winter Storm 2014'

Published: Jan. 28, 2015 at 6:18 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2015 at 6:39 PM EST
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The Arthur Ravenel was one of several bridges shut down because of icy road conditions. (Photo...
The Arthur Ravenel was one of several bridges shut down because of icy road conditions. (Photo Source: SCDOT)
Ice covered cars like this one in Goose Creek.
Ice covered cars like this one in Goose Creek.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - One year ago, strong but shallow arctic cold front pushed through the Lowcountry, creating "snow days" for students and major headaches for motorists.

The National Weather Service had issued a winter storm warning and an ice storm warning for the area beginning at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 through 5 p.m. on the following day.

School districts and government offices announced closures and delays ahead of the winter weather. Many schools in the area were dismissed early the day before the storm was forecast to arrive.

Even Charleston Mayor Joe Riley was forced to postpone his next-to-the-last State of the City address, which had been planned for the night of the winter storm.

As temperatures dipped into the lower 30s by the early evening and into the 20s overnight, freezing rain and sleet prompted authorities to shut down the Arthur Ravenel, Ben Sawyer and Don Holt Bridges and the Isle of Palms Connector.

By the following morning, residents across the Lowcountry woke up to ice-covered roads, trees and cars. The weight of the ice downed tree limbs and branches, some of them taking power lines with them.

Crews scrambled to restore power to residents in affected communities including West Ashley, James Island, Goose Creek, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

"Winter Storm 2014" gave children a few days off from school, during which they enjoyed the uncommon winter weather conditions. Some families even broke out their sleds and slid down any snow-dusted hills they could find.

One group of children were outside playing football, but ran into a problem when they switched to basketball: the ball got stuck in the frozen net.

It wasn't until Thursday, Jan. 30 that temperatures inched into the low 40s, though temperatures remained below freezing for many areas from Georgia through South Carolina until that Friday.

Road crews sanded and salted roadways over the next few days, but the Ravenel Bridge, visibly covered in ice, remained closed until about 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30. The bridge was closed again the following morning when falling ice melting from the bridge's double diamonds and its 128 cables damaged cars and caused a non-life threatening injury.

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