FIRST ALERT: Midlands remains under flash flood watch

FIRST ALERT: Midlands remains under flash flood watch
High water at Blossom and Henderson streets (Source: WIS)
High water at Blossom and Henderson streets (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A flash flood watch is in effect for the Midlands through 8 p.m. Monday. and the Midlands are under a marginal risk for severe weather Monday.

The watch includes Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Newberry Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter Counties.

The flood watch continues for Orangeburg and Calhoun counties in the Midlands until 12 a.m. Tuesday. An upper-level Low has formed over Orangeburg county and has been the focus for heavy rain and thunderstorms for the last five hours.

Unofficial totals (Doppler radar est.) has anywhere from 5.5" to 7.5" of rain that has fallen over those two counties. Thunderstorms with rain and embedded heavy rain will continue for the next few hours.

The rest of the evening will have periods of showers/rain and isolated thunderstorms.  The main surface Low is moving out to the coast very slowly and will give us a few showers through midday Tuesday before sunshine by afternoon.

According to the NWS, rainfall associated with an upper-level low-pressure system will persist across the region through Monday night. One to three inches of rain has already fallen and periods of additional heavy rain will contribute to total rainfall of two to five inches, with isolated higher amounts possible.


Grounds will become saturated as periods of heavy rainfall move across the area. This has the potential to lead to flash flooding, especially in locations with poor drainage such as urban areas or in and around culverts. Excessive roadway ponding is also likely, and at times some roads may become impassable, especially if drainage ditches overflow onto roadways.

WIS First Alert Meteorologist Ben Tanner says the storms that passed through overnight and others that are moving into the area from the west are moving slowly.

"They're not fast movers," he said. "So that's why we're getting the flood watches."

Skies will begin to clear Monday night into Tuesday. A Flash Flood Warning issued for the Columbia area late Sunday night expired at 2 a.m. Monday.

According to Columbia Dispatchers, these streets in Downtown Columbia experienced flash flooding at about 1 a.m. Monday:

  • Main Street at Whaley Street
  • Rocky Branch at Whaley Street
  • Main Street at Columbia College Drive
  • Bull Street at Taylor Street
  • Main Street at Franklin Street
  • South Edisto Drive at Rosewood Drive
  • Assembly Street at Elmwood Street
  • Assembly Street at Taylor Street
  • Main Street at Monticello Road

City crews installed barricades around the flooded intersections. As of 4 a.m., the high water receded.

You''re advised to avoid these roadways until flooding from overnight storms has subsided in those areas.

The Forecast:

ALERT DAY MONDAY: Scattered strong storms possible through the afternoon and then showers overnight and into Tuesday morning, 90% chance, highs lower 70's. According to the Storm Prediction Center, the Midlands are under a marginal risk for severe weather Monday.

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