A Tuesday evening downpour and high winds brought scattered hail, power outages and downed trees to the Midlands. It also brought street closings and flooding in Columbia’s Five Points, on Whaley Street and at Rosewood Drive and Assembly Street. One car in Five Points and one on Whaley Street were stuck in water as Rocky Branch breached its banks. On Whaley, people got caught as they tried to go around a train that was blocking Assembly Street.
Monday night, the National Weather Service recorded 3.14 inches of rain at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in a six-hour period through 2 a.m. Tuesday. Hamilton-Owens Airport in downtown Columbia got 1.37 inches.
Tuesday evening, Hamilton-Owens Airport in downtown Columbia got 2.26 inches in slightly more than an hour – just before 7 p.m. through 8 p.m. The gauge behind Bates House at USC got 1.98 inches in 65 minutes ending at 7:45 p.m.
Rocky Branch flooded quickly, with the stream level going from less than a foot to 10.74 feet in an hour, according to the U.S. Geological Survey stream gauge. Serious street flooding usually starts when the gauge hits 8 feet. It was back down below 3 feet within 45 minutes.
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The rain is expected to continue: The national Hydrometeorological Prediction Center estimated Tuesday afternoon that 2-4 inches of rain would fall in the Midlands over the next five days.
As destructive as it was, the rain brought a much-needed break in a triple-digit heat wave. Highs are forecast in the 80s and low 90s through the rest of the work week.
Webcam at Whaley and Main Streets. The webcam is updated every 10 minutes.
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