Storm wreaks havoc in Tenn. and S.C.

Snow, freezing rain turn roads icy and cause many accidents

JELLICO, Tenn. | February 20, 2012

Snow and freezing rain from Tennessee to South Carolina turned roads icy and caused hundreds of accidents and some injuries, but no deaths were reported.

Accidents, including a pile-up, forced Interstate 75 near the Kentucky-Tennessee line to close temporarily Sunday, the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel reported.

The pile-up, involving passenger vehicles, tractor-trailers and a commercial bus, backed up traffic for about 6 miles as heavy snow hit the Jellico, Tenn., area, law enforcement officials said. At least five people were injured.

In Virginia, state police said a snowstorm that blanketed the state Sunday resulted in numerous accidents and road closures, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Virginia State Police spokesman Thomas J. Molnar said law enforcement personnel statewide responded to 349 crashes between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. He said most of the accidents were reported in the mountainous western portion of Virginia, which received the heaviest snowfall.

Virginia Transportation Department officials warned of slick roads Monday.

Traffic was expected to be lighter than usual because of Presidents Day, with most schools and government offices closed.

Snow covered the Carolinas and officials reported a rash of accidents.

No serious injuries were reported from at least 65 vehicle crashes in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

State transportation officials said the weather would warm up Monday but asked drivers to be on guard for possible icy spots.

A city worker handling salting duties in Winston-Salem said the snowfall was a great change of pace, even if he had to work on a Sunday.

"I like getting out here," Ben White told the News Sentinel. "It's better than working indoors, in a factory."

The Charlotte, N.C., area had its first snowflakes of the season, accompanied by enough sleet to coat the ground Sunday, The Charlotte Observer reported.

The snow and sleet in the Charlotte area came a day after temperatures reached the middle 60s. Weather forecasters said temperatures fell about 10 degrees in 4 hours through the afternoon Sunday, then dipped to the upper 30s while a cold rain fell.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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