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Storm wreaks havoc in Carolinas

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - More snow could be in the forecast for North Carolina residents digging out from a weekend storm that blanketed many areas with snow, ice and freezing rain.

The National Weather Service said Saturday more snow could fall overnight in the western North Carolina mountains. And winter storm warnings remained in place into this morning along the Tennessee border.

In South Carolina, torrential rainstorms caused flooding in some areas, and several coastal counties were under a freeze watch.

In Charleston, authorities shut off access to the downtown peninsula Friday after almost 4 inches of rain fell.

"It wasn't a decision made lightly," said Mark Ruppel, public information officer for the Charleston Fire Department. "The minute the decision was made, we notified every media outlet and we were on the phone with all the hospitals."

City police, fire and rescue officials thought that preventing people from coming onto the peninsula when so many of its roads were impassable was the best way to save lives, Ruppel said.

"Not only the lives of the people who might come into the city and get caught in moving water, but the lives of our fire and rescue personnel, too," he said.

Duke Energy and Progress Energy reported nearly 84,000 total outages in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In Columbia, about two inches of rain fell Friday at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, according to the National Weather Service. The storm cleared out about 10:40 p.m. Friday.

Today will bring sunshine and a high of 52 to Columbia, according to the service.

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