A concentrated burst of rainfall dumped 2.13 inches on the USC area of downtown Columbia in less than an hour Monday, causing flash floods and swamping a few parked cars.
The flooding was in the typical places along Rocky Branch -- Five Points, the intersections of Whaley and Main streets and Pickens and Blossom streets, according to the National Weather Service and Columbia police.
A gauge in Rocky Branch at Whaley and Main rose from 1.59 feet at 1:15 p.m. to 11.21 feet at 2:15 p.m. A National Weather Service observer reported water was four-feet deep in the intersection at one point. By 3:15, the Rocky Branch gauge was back below two feet.
Several cars parked behind a USC building on Main Street near Whaley flooded, according to the weather service.
Just a few blocks away at Owens Field, less than one-third of an inch of rain fell during that hour.
A day earlier, the same stalled weather system produced intense winds in the area around Williams-Brice stadium knocked down three utility poles Sunday afternoon, causing a disruption of power at The State Media Co. and an apartment complex on Bluff Road.
The strong winds were part of a storm front that passed through much of the state on Sunday and Monday bringing rain after a two-month dry period. Some portions of the state got a gulp of water from the system but others only got a sip.
A microburst with strong wind broke the three poles around 3:30 p.m., said Roxanne Argo, a spokeswoman for SCE&G. One pole served as a transmission line, which supplies power from a substation. The other two were for distribution of electricity.
The transmission pole snapped apart at the point where a knot hole was in the wood, Argo said. As a result, a live power line was on the ground. However, SCE&G workers agreed to block off the area and keep electricity running so The State could operate its printing presses for the newspaper, Argo said. Once the presses finished running, crews shut off electricity at 4 a.m. so the pole and power line could be repaired.
The State and the apartment complex were without power for about three hours. Less than 100 people were affected, Argo said. The State’s phone service was disrupted until around 10 a.m.
The two distribution poles were destroyed when the winds lifted a metal shed at the S.C. Farmer’s Market and threw it, Argo said. Those poles were replaced Sunday night.
Rainfall totals for the two days reflect classic “scattered thunderstorms.”