Record for rainfall in a day set in Columbia as rain lightens up

Record for rainfall in a day set in Columbia as rain lightens up
Reflections in Southeast Columbia (Source: Twitter/@a_j_w 46s)
Reflections in Southeast Columbia (Source: Twitter/@a_j_w 46s)
Hopkins, SC (Source: Melanie Dixon)
Hopkins, SC (Source: Melanie Dixon)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The worst of Sunday's massive and destructive rainfall and flooding waters seems to be over, but light rain will continue until at least Monday afternoon.

"The appreciable rain appears to be over, but there's still light rain on the horizon," First Alert Storm Team meteorologist Ben Tanner said.

Nevertheless, a steady rainfall in the Midlands managed to break two records in the last 48 hours.

A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect for the Midlands until noon Monday.

According to The National Weather Service, a measurement of 6.86 inches at Columbia Metropolitan Airport on Sunday set a new mark for most rainfall in a day in Columbia. The new record surpasses the old mark that was set in 1887.

Combined with Saturday's mark of 3.57 inches, Columbia saw a total of 10.43 inches on a 48-hour period. That mark shatters the previous 48-hour record of 7.69 inches set back in 1949.

Mobile users, tap here to see photos of the October floods.

The First Alert Storm Team reports 48-hour rain totals of 19.9 inches in Columbia. 10.1 inches were recorded in Northeast Richland County. Western Sumter County received 19.6 inches. The 48 hours includes 1 p.m. Friday - 1 p.m. Sunday.

After noon on Sunday, the intensity of the rainfall started to diminish but the rain will continue for a few more hours.

"The heavier cells are starting to die out," said Tim Miller.

An Emergency Disaster Declaration was issued for Richland County on Sunday.

Rain as high as 13 inches has been reported in Summerton creating dangerous conditions in that area.

The South Carolina Department of Emergency Management ordered people to stay home Sunday. Officials there say the agency is in Full Response Mode.

On Saturday afternoon, the state of South Carolina elected to move their emergency alert to OpCon1. Of the 46 counties in the state, 15 are still activated at OpCon1.

SCEMD said as of about noon on Sunday, more than 200 water rescues have been conducted statewide as eight swift water rescue teams are on hand with more teams coming from other states.


Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter counties are under a flash flood watch until Monday

A Flash Flood Watch was issued for Colleton, Dorchester, Berkeley, Beaufort and Charleston Counties through Saturday evening. A Coastal Flood Advisory was issued for Beaufort, Berkeley, Colleton, Charleston and Jasper Counties.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is keeping an eye on both storms and is warning state residents to be prepared. 

South Carolina's Department of Health & Environmental Control issued an alert Thursday advising owners of Dams and Reservoirs to begin lowering water levels ahead of the potentially heavy rainfall. "Owners of reservoirs should take the appropriate steps to safely lower the water level in their reservoir if additional storage for the anticipated rainfall is needed," said Chuck Gorman, with DHEC's dam safety program.

University of South Carolina officials are making sure students are prepped and informed as the weekend weather system makes its way through the Midlands.

A lot of low-lying areas on USC's campus are prone to flooding during heavy rainfall.

That's why USC officials are working to make sure students have the latest information ahead of the weekend.

"It's really important because I live down on Whaley Street and that's a big flood place so a lot of people got their cars totaled a couple weeks ago in the other flood and this is supposed to be a lot worse," said USC student Chris Tapp. "So it's really important for us down there."

On the Carolina Alert homepage you'll find information about emergency contact numbers, what to do in different emergency situations, and the most recent alerts.

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