ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Thursday, white grounds, snowball fights, and twisted metal caused by black ice marked Eastern Orangeburg County.
"Oh, this is amazing. This is – I mean – we don't ever get anything close to this, so for them, this is a highlight of their year for sure," said Desiree Lerch, as she watched her three children lob snowballs on a field near I-26.
While some were out enjoying the winter wonderland, others were working extra hard to keep the roads safe.
"I would probably say, just myself, I would probably say 300 or better," said Charleston Fenton, with the Orangeburg County Fire District.
300 wrecks since Wednesday morning.
"Like a guy told me, he said, basically, he just came to sight-see a little bit, and then he got in an accident and overturned his vehicle. I said, 'Well, what are you doing out here?' He said, 'Oh, I just came out here to check it out.' He was two blocks from his house and ended up going to TRMC in an ambulance," said Fenton.
After carefully driving some of Highway 301, I-26, and I-95, WIS saw that conditions were better, but it doesn't take long to spot the remains of violent collisions.
"Secondary roads are still pretty much slick. Like I said, those roads are least traveled, so a lot of snow – a lot of ice – is still on those roads," said Lance Corporal Judd Jones with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Highway Patrol said – in the affected areas – it responded to more than 900 crashes between 6 a.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday. That tally is more than six times the tally of wrecks in that same period last year. That number could increase if drivers don't respect black ice.
More black ice is expected to be in places on roads Thursday night and into Friday morning.