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Providence Hospital transformer damaged

UPDATED 7:10 P.M. A blown transformer at Providence Hospital on Two Notch Road during this morning's deluge has caused thousands of dollars worth of damage and forced the hospital to run on generators, but patient care has not been compromised, fire officials said today.

A power line linking the transformer to the hospital has been damaged beyond repair and will have to be replaced, said Columbia fire department spokesman Aubrey Jenkins. Workers rerouted power and the hospital was no longer relying on generators Friday evening.

The transformer outage was one of two that happened when 3-4 inches of rain fell in the Midlands from a heavy storm system that now has moved northeast. The other blown transformer was at 1401 Main St.

Other reports of damage from this morning's storm today:

-- The creek bed at Martin Luther King Jr. Park near Five Points was swelling, but no big problems were seen in the business district.

-- A lane on Gervais Street near Harden was closed temporarily due to flash flooding.

-- A backhoe was used to clean debris on Whaley Street near Main this afternoon.

-- The intersection at Rosewood and Assembly streets was closed temporarily because of flash flooding.

Officials at the National Weather Service office in Columbia said a new record rainfall -- 9.06 inches -- has been set for Columbia.

A cold front came through the region this afternoon, bringing sunnier skies. High pressure will build in tonight through Saturday night. A weak upper level disturbance will bring clouds and a slight chance of rain to the southern Midlands Sunday afternoon and early Sunday night. A lake wind advisory also was in effect for the Lake Murray area until 5 p.m.

A tornado watch was issued for parts of Georgia and in the South Carollina Lowcountry as the tail end of Friday's storm came through.

Also. the weather service is reporting that lightning and thunder will accompany the rains in parts of the Midlands today. Up to two inches of rain now is forecast. If this were snowfall, we would have gotten 13 inches of the white stuff. Some locations might get three inches.

The National Weather service in Columbia issued a flash flood warning for Richland county until 12:45PM. Heavy rains caused flash flooding in urban areas, especially the 5 Points area. Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely. For the latest weather conditions, visit thestate.com/weather, and for the latest traffic incident reports, visit thestate.com/traffic.

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