Near-record lows expected in the Midlands as snow hits NC

A car teeters on a cliff in Blowing Rock, NC (Source: Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue)
A car teeters on a cliff in Blowing Rock, NC (Source: Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue)
Source: Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue
Source: Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Drivers found a few icy patches on Midlands roads Monday morning as low temperatures threatened records dating back as long as 90 years. Farther north, the National Weather Service said cold temperatures and heavy snow are expected to bring dangerous travel conditions and power outages to western North Carolina.

Expect a couple of blustery days as highs struggle into the upper 30s on Monday, with sunny to partly cloudy skies and wind chills in the teens and 20s.

The forecast low on Tuesday is 18 degrees, just above the 16-degree low. Wednesday morning the temperature is expected to get down to 16 degrees, which is the record low for that day.

A cold rain returns Thursday. If it arrives early enough Thursday morning, it could start with non-accumulating sleet before switching over.

Snow began in the mountains of North Carolina and lower elevations Sunday afternoon, and is expected to continue through Monday night.

The weather caused a serious wreck in Blowing Rock when a driver ran off a snow-covered road Sunday afternoon. He told police he lost control on the wet road. His SUV almost went down a 70-foot drop, but was stopped by a few trees on a cliff overhanging Highway 321.

It took Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue about an hour to stabilize the SUV enough to get to the driver and pull him from the vehicle. The driver wasn't hurt.

The forecast calls for snow accumulations ranging from three to 10 inches through Monday night. Temperatures are forecast to dip into the single digits on Monday.

The weather service says roads will be slick and travel is discouraged except in emergency situations. Traveler should carry a flashlight, food and water in their cars.

Power lines are likely to be damaged by the combination of snow, cold temperatures and gusty winds.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. AP and WBTV contributed to this report.