by: The Associated Press Updated:COLUMBIA, S.C. —
President Barack Obama has granted Gov. Nikki Haley's request to declare South Carolina a federal disaster area.
Almost 100,000 electric customers across South Carolina are in the dark as a winter storm moves through the state bringing snow, sleet and ice.
Officials are asking people not to drive as the storm move through.
The emergency declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance for South Carolina's worst winter storm in a decade. The order opening the way for federal aid is effective dating back to Monday. Three-quarters of the assistance will be federally funded.
Haley's request for the disaster declaration noted that more than a quarter-inch of ice accumulation is expected to impact over 80 percent of the state.
RELATED: SC Highway Patrol responds to 2,000 weather-related calls
The federal declaration comes a day after Haley declared a state of emergency in South Carolina. That brought the National Guard to active duty and activated the state's Emergency Operations Plan.
In January 2004, three-quarters of an inch of ice left 250,000 customers without electricity.
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