January 5, 2014

Cold in SC Tuesday: All Midlands schools on 2-hour delay

New: A wind chill advisory is in effect for early Tuesday; schools making adjustments

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for central South Carolina and the central Savannah River region of Georgia for Tuesday morning, saying the combination of cold and wind will make it feel as cold as minus 4 degrees in some areas. 

The cold prompted Midlands area school districts to issue two-hour delayed starts Tuesday for students, among them Kershaw County, Lexington 2, Lexington 3, Lexington 4, Richland 1, Richland 2 and Lexington-Richland 5. Lexington 1 students are still on winter break.  

Frost bite and hypothermia are a serious concern with Tuesday's expected wind chills. The most dangerous time period will be 1 a.m.-10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the advisory. Stay inside then unless you have to go out, and dress warmly if you have to go out.

The wind chill forecast for the Columbia area is around zero, but when it gets that cold in South Carolina a degree or two doesn’t make much difference. 

The National Weather Service’s Columbia forecast low of 14 early Tuesday would be the first time Columbia got that low since 2009. Columbia has hit 14 or lower only 102 times in 125 years and only five times this century, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.

An auxiliary shelter at Columbia’s Martin Luther King Jr. recreation center near Five Points will open at 9 p.m. or perhaps earlier for those needing shelter, Columbia interim police chief Ruben Santiago said Monday.

Officers are being instructed to be on the lookout for homeless or anyone else who looks like they might need assistance, Santiago said. 

Officers also have a list of several hundred elderly people in city limits who don’t have relatives to check on them and will be seeing whether those people need blankets or food, Santiago said.

Early Tuesday morning, Santiago said, he plans to put extra officers on the road. In extreme cold, water pipes burst and can cause slick road conditions, he said. 

NOTE: Staff writers Carolyn Click, Tim Flach and John Monk contributed.


Eau Claire High's B-team, junior varsity and varsity basketball games with Chester High Monday and Tuesday have been cancelled. They have not yet been rescheduled.

Orangeburg 4 has cancelled Tuesday classes, according to its web site.

In Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties, school districts are operating on a two-hour delayed start except for Lexington 1, which does not return from winter break until Wednesday.

This means students who ride buses will report to their bus stops two hours later than normal and classes begin two hours later than the regular schedule. All morning pre-school classes for 3-and-4-year-olds are cancelled.

Each district has announced separate arrival times for teachers and support staff, including bus drivers. Individual district protocols include:

Richland 1: All students and employees should report two hours later than their normal work schedule. 

Richland 2: All employees should report two hours later than usual, unless notified otherwise. 

Kershaw County:  While student arrival is delayed two hours, staff will report at their normal time and breakfast will be served. Parents who need to drop off students at the regular time may do so as there will be on-site supervision.

Lexington 2:  Administrators, custodians, maintenance staff and food service workers are to come in as regularly scheduled. Teachers, assistants and office staff report an hour late. All half-day classes for three- and four-year-olds are canceled.

Lexington 3: The two-hour delay is for students, teachers and assistants. Other staff will come at varying times as determined by supervisors.

Lexington 4: While students come in two-hours late, teachers and a few clerical workers will report an hour late, with all other employees coming in as usual. Morning classes in the Early Childhood Development Center are canceled.

Lexington-Richland 5: The two-hour delay is for students and all staff.

Newberry County: All students are on two-hour delay, but employees report at regular time. 

Countdown to a cold snap

How low will it go? Temperature projections for the Columbia metro area by National Weather Service:

10 a.m. Monday 49 degrees (39 w/wind chill)

4 p.m. 41 degrees (33 w/wind chill)

7 p.m. 34 degrees (23 w/wind chill)

Midnight 29 degrees (17 w/wind chill)

7 a.m. Tuesday 15 degrees (2 w/wind chill)

10 a.m. 21 degrees (11 w/wind chill)

1 p.m. 28 degrees (22 w/wind chill)

4 p.m. 30 degrees (25 w/wind chill)

6 a.m. Wednesday 17 degrees (no wind chill expected)

3 p.m. Thursday 51 degrees


DO Consider placing heavy curtains (or afghans/throws in a pinch) over windows during the coldest hours If you have a cold and drafty house.

DO Let a little water trickle from your hot and cold faucets overnight. Drain garden hoses outside and cover outdoor taps.

DO Have plenty of water for pets. Keep them indoors.

DO Wear several light layers, hats and mittens, rather than gloves.

DO Watch out for black ice on the roads, especially in the morning.

DON’T Use heaters meant for outdoor use indoors.

DON’T Place indoor space heaters around any combustible material, including bedding or curtains.

DON’T Use the stove as a heating source.


Jan. 6: 10 degrees, 1924

Jan. 7: 16 degrees, 1924

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