Crews responded to numerous collisions in Horry and Georgetown counties Wednesday, prompting officials to urge drivers to stay off the roads as Winter Storm Grayson crept up the coast.
One collision on U.S. Highway 701 South near Gilbert Road in Bucksport was reported just before 10 a.m. as the cold rain - that had already started falling in Georgetown - worked its way into the South Strand. The rain fell on ground already chilled by days of freezing temperatures and the precipitation had turned to sleet by noon.
Hours later, icy conditions were being reported on the International Boulevard overpass over S.C. Highway 31, on International Drive near U.S. Highway 17, on Forestbrook Road near McCormick Road, on S.C. Highway 90 in Conway, on S.C. Highway 31 and on the U.S. 17 Bypass, where multiple vehicles had crashed.
A six-car collision on the icy Bypass at U.S. Highway 501 temporarily shut down U.S. 17 Bypass in all directions Wednesday afternoon.
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“The bridge over 501 has ice on the roadway and multiple collisions have occurred,” said Capt. Joey Crosby of the Myrtle Beach Police Department. “Motorists are encouraged to avoid this area and use alternate routes,” he said, as the bridge was closed.
Crosby encouraged drivers to “stay off of the roads as driving conditions deteriorate.”
The advice was echoed by more first responders after a busy day of responding to a slew of wrecks spawned by Winter Storm Grayson across the area.
A collision was reported at Atlantic Avenue and U.S. 17 Business at 11:05 a.m. No injuries were reported in the crash.
In the minutes and hours that followed, more wrecks were reported across Horry County: at Beaver Run Boulevard near the Surfside Beach Wal-Mart, at Forestbrook Road near Whatuthink Road, near the new bridge on Enterprise Drive, at McCormick Road near Forestbrook Road, at Grand Cypress Way near TPC Boulevard in Murrells Inlet and on S.C. Highway 707 near Leonard Road near Socastee.
A wreck and a vehicle fire were reported on an icy International Boulevard overpass Wednesday afternoon. And more collisions were reported on U.S. 17, bridges on the George Bishop Parkway and Robert Grissom Parkway, on International Drive, U.S. Highway 501, Dick Pond Road, S.C. 707, S.C. Highway 31, U.S. Highway 701 in Bucksport, S.C. Highway 544 and on the Garden City Connector.
In Georgetown County, collisions were piling up on Ocean Highway, near Brookgreen Gardens, at the U.S. 17 Bypass and U.S. 17 Business split, and on a number of other roads as the afternoon wore on and the sleet turned to snow.
Four inches of snow and nearly a tenth of an inch of ice are predicted to fall in Horry County through Wednesday night, continuing to make travel hazardous Thursday morning as temperature gauges struggle to climb above freezing.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol and the S.C. Department of Transportation are advising drivers to use caution when traveling on wet or ice-covered roads. Drivers should keep a safe distance between cars and never use cruise control on wet or icy roads.
As the wrecks started to pile up, Georgetown County officials urged drivers to “stay off the road if possible” and to “use extreme caution” if you have to drive.
For more real-time traffic information in our area, visit http://bit.ly/1Ogsgt9.
Wrecks reported in Horry County
(According to real-time traffic collisions reported by the S.C. Highway Patrol)
4:04 p.m. - Collision: no injury on Robert Grissom Parkway near Carolina Bays Parkway (S.C. Highway 31)
4:06 p.m. - Collision: no injury on International Drive near the S.C. Highway 31 exit ramp
4:11 p.m. - Ice/snow in roadway on S.C. Highway 544 near University Boulevard
4:17 p.m. - Ice/snow in roadway on U.S. Highway 378 near the Marion County line
4:38 p.m. - Collision: no injury on Robert Grissom Parkway near Carolina Bays Parkway (S.C. Highway 31)
4:40 p.m. - Collision: with injury and entrapment on Cultra Road near Wilbur Dunn Place
4:57 p.m. - Collision: no details on U.S. 378 near Roena Drive
5:08 p.m. - Collision: no injury on Old Reaves Ferry Road near S.C. Highway 90
5:13 p.m. - Collision on private property on TPC Boulevard at the Park West subdivision
5:29 p.m. - Collision: no injury on Socastee Boulevard in front of Figure 8 Road subdivision
5:32 p.m. - Collision on private property at 4049 Socastee Boulevard
5:36 p.m. - Collision: no injury on McCormick Road near Burcale Road
5:45 p.m. - Collision: no injury on U.S. 501 near S.C. 129
5:53 p.m. - Collision: no details on U.S. 378 near Conway Airport
5:53 p.m. - Collision: no details on U.S. 501 at the exit ramp for Waccamaw Boulevard
5:54 p.m. - Collision: no injury on S.C. 707 in front of Socastee Baptist Church
Wrecks in Georgetown County
4:50 p.m. - Collision: no injury on Gapway Road near Pinyon Lane
5:22 p.m. - Power lines in road on Ocean Highway near Hotel Drive