Pets, babies airlifted to safety amid Florence flooding
The Midlands of South Carolina woke up Sunday morning to a weakened Florence that already had done most of the damage she is going to do in the area.
“Most of the Midlands did dodge a bullet,” National Weather Service forecaster Rachel Cobb said Sunday at 6:45 a.m.
The center of Florence, which was downgraded to a tropical depression from a tropical storm overnight, was over northern Aiken County on Sunday morning and expected to continue to move northwest through the day, Cobb said.
“The biggest problem area is going to be the northern Midlands and the Pee Dee region,” Cobb said. “We are getting really heavy rain bands through there and we have already had some reports of flooding.”
Chesterfield County, which received between seven and 10 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, could see another four inches in the next 24 hours, Cobb said. Chesterfield, Lancaster, Lee, Kershaw and Fairfield counties remained under a flood watch Sunday morning.
Fort Jackson in Columbia received 2.27 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, and the Columbia area likely will only get another half-inch to one inch in the next 24 hours, Cobb said.
Winds across most of the Midlands are not expected to exceed 5-10 mph Sunday, although they could be as much as much as 15-20 mph in the northern Midlands, Cobb said.
However, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division still is working under OpCon 1, its highest readiness level, said public information coordinator Kim McLeod.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” McLeod said. “We are still getting some rains. The conditions could stay the same, and we hope they do and they could get worse. Either way, we are prepared to respond.”