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As a soft blanket of snow falls across the South Carolina Upstate (up to four inches in some locations), the Midlands region of the state is bracing for what could be a catastrophic ice storm.

The latest forecast models for the region spanning from Aiken to Columbia, S.C. are calling for ice accumulation of anywhere between 1.77 and 2.3 inches over the next forty-eight hours.  Some areas could receive up to three inches of ice.

That may not sound like much, but as we’ve noted previously it’s potentially calamitous in terms of knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians.

Mixed snow and sleet was already falling in the Midlands early Tuesday morning – with temperatures hovering in the mid-thirties. Additional freezing precipitation is expected Wednesday – with highs temps projected to remain at or below the freezing level.

Then there’s the wind forecast – which the National Weather Service (NWS) says will “add to the problems associated with ice accumulation.”

“The accumulation of ice on trees, limbs and power lines … will lead to power outages across the area Wednesday through Thursday,” the latest NWS release adds.

“The ice totals in all models now are nearing two inches,” one of our trusted weather sources noted. “This is going to be a life-threatening storm.”

Yikes …

So what should you do? Other than staying off the roads, obviously …

“Essentially the main course of action is to have a source of heat, portable water, nonperishable goods – and to ensure the sick and elderly are being cared for,”our source says.