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The Latest: Bridges thaw, but cold staying in Carolinas

December 29, 2017

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on wintery weather and cold temperatures in the Carolinas (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Coastal South Carolina is thawing out after a rare bout of freezing rain and drizzle coated several bridges in ice.

From Charleston to Myrtle Beach, bridges had to be shut down to be de-iced Friday in places that see wintery weather maybe only a couple of times a decade.

Midway Fire and Rescue said the bridge that carries U.S. Highway 17 over the Waccamaw River in Georgetown was closed for several hours because of the ice, cutting off the only route directly connecting Charleston and Myrtle Beach. The bridges are thawing now that temperatures are above freezing.

Now the Carolinas are bracing for more than a week of well below normal temperatures.

North Carolina Propane Gas Association Executive Director John Jessup says demand for propane is way up. He says one dealer heard from a customer who hadn’t needed a fill-up since 2014 because the past two winters have been mild.

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6:35 a.m.

Portions of two bridges near downtown Charleston have been closed as officials warn drivers about icy conditions accompanying a blast of frigid temperatures.

Police tell local media outlets traffic in both directions of the Ravenel Bridge connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant were closed early Friday morning.

Officials closed eastbound lanes of the Don Holt Bridge, which carries Interstate 526 over the Cooper River, after two early-morning accidents.

A winter weather advisory in place until midmorning for counties along the North and South Carolina coasts warns of freezing rain possible through Friday morning. South Carolina transportation officials began treating bridges in coastal areas on Thursday night.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday signed an executive order allowing heating fuel to be more easily distributed during the cold snap.

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