Severe thunderstorms throughout the Midlands resulted in flooding, damaged trees and property.
At 9:52 p.m. the National Weather Service in Columbia issued a flash flood warning in Richland County, lasting until 11:15 p.m. A flood advisory was also issued in Lexington, Aiken and Saluda Counties. The National Weather Service reported flooding and trees down in Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Aiken counties.
The strong, slow moving thunderstorm began around 7 p.m. and was described as an isolated severe weather threat with winds blowing at 15 mph, but likely had gusts that exceeded 60 mph in certain areas, according to the National Weather Service.
“That’s the wind speed needed to down a tree,” said National Weather Service forecaster Jeff Linton.
The storm caused heavy rainfall and runoff resulting in flooding in several areas. Some areas across Columbia experienced between 3 to 5 inches of rainfall.
Affected areas included Columbia, Forest Acres, Dentsville, Arcadia Lakes, Five Points and Woodfield. Linton said some of these areas are more prone to flooding, especially Five Points.
“It’s sort of a bowl,” Linton said.
Flooding was reported at multiple locations in Five Points including the intersection of Main and Whaley streets, I-277 and Farrow Road as well as Forest Drive and Garners Ferry Road. SCDOT reported a section of I-277 had been closed because of the flooding.
According to a report by wistv.com, other roads that flooded included 5800 Two Notch Road, SC 277 at Sunset Boulevard, South Beltline Boulevard at Shop Road, Olympia Avenue at Florida Street, Atlas Road at Bluff Road and Beltline Boulevard at Midlands Tech.
The City of Columbia urged citizens and motorists to use extreme caution during the aftermath of the storm. City crews reported trees and power lines down, flooding, standing water and other hazardous conditions in many areas across the community.
All motorists were advised not to drive through flooded areas or standing water and were asked not travel on roadways unless absolutely necessary.
In West Columbia, a water line break affected customers on Pinedale, Hilldale, Rosedale, Springdale, Glendale and Oakdale roads as well as Lyndale Drive and the 2800-2900 blocks of Franklin Street. Customers in those areas were urged to vigorously boil any water used for drinking, food preparation or making ice for at least one full minute before use.
The City of Columbia also experienced overflows of sanitary sewers in the Rocky Branch and Gills Creek areas at 1806 Blossom Street, 4645 Pine Grove Court and 1548 Kathwood Drive – in Richland County.
The City of Columbia Wastewater Maintenance Division said other areas of concern that couldn’t be accessed because of rising water levels included the Trenholm-Buchannan neighborhood along West Buchannan, Belmont Drive at Pen Branch Creek, I-20 at Brickyard Road and Peeples Street along Crane Creek.
WLTX.com reported at 10:15 p.m. that SCE&G said nearly 8,500 people without power in Richland and Lexington Counties.
Trees and branches were reported down across the Midlands, and the City of Columbia warned not to attempt to remove any entangled with power lines.
One driver attempted to avoid danger by pulling to the side of the road in downtown Columbia, only to have that place her in a perilous situation. Hannah Maria Hayes, of Columbia, reported she parked her Mazda Miata on Main Street, near the intersection with Laurel, to allow the storm to pass.
She parked beneath a tree that soon suffered damage from the storm, causing a massive limb to break and crash through the roof and windshield of her vehicle while she was inside. Hayes said she didn’t know if lightning struck the tree, or if the limb gave out during the storm, because she was trapped inside the vehicle. She said she remained stuck until the police safely assisted her out the passenger door.
Hayes said she didn’t suffer any injuries, only receiving a scare when thunder boomed just before the limb struck her vehicle.
“I’m feeling very lucky,” Hayes said.
The weather forecast on Tuesday, and for the next few days, calls for the possibility of more storms and rain, which could result in further flooding.
“On Tuesday, there’s a 40 percent chance of rain for the central part of the state. On Wednesday and Thursday, there’s a 30 percent chance for rain,” Linton said of the forecast that also calls for high temperatures in the mid 90s during the day and a low of 75 at night. “There’s an increased chance of thunderstorms the next several days. There’s potential for slow moving heavy rain storms and some threat of more localized flooding.”
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 11 a.m. Patchy fog before 9 a.m. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 94. Heat index values as high as 101. West wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 2 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Light south wind. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
National Weather Service