Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The winter storm that brought snow, ice, and sleet to the Midlands has moved out of the region, but a mess remains.

The last of the snow ended around 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

The storm began Tuesday, when snow fell on much of the northern Midlands, leaving a blanked of one to two inches of the white stuff. On Wednesday things got worse, asa mix of sleet, snow, and ice fell on the entire region.

The precipitation ran the gamut: as much as seven inches of snow was recorded in Fairfield County; further south n Orangeburg, over an inch of ice coated trees and powerlines; and in the Columbia area, there was a mix of sleet, ice, and snow. Previous Coverage:Winter Mess Falls in the Midlands

The National Weather Service says Columbia had three straight days of snow for the first time since January of 1940.

Much of the ice and snowis expected to remain on the ground well into Friday.

The result is a mess on roadways. The South Carolina Department of Transportation and local public worksagenceis have cleared the interstates and some major highways, but secondary roads remains extremely hazardous. Drivers are still urged to stay off the roads unless necessary.

Because of the threat on the roads, most areaschool districts are planning to shut down for another day.

Power outages also remain a major problem. At its peak Thursday, state officials said 329,000 homes and businesses statewide were without power.

In the Midlands, some of the chief places without power are in Orangeburg, Sumter, and Lexington Counties. Additional crews are coming from other states tohelp get the lights back on.SCE&G officials said at a news conference Friday that it could be early next week before everyone has their power restored.

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