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Spotty thunderstorms live up to name Thursday

Jul 16, 2010 9:44:00 AM - thestate.com
A small, moisture-packed thunderstorm that hit the Midlands on Thursday evening has office workers scratching their heads Friday morning.

Some are commenting on the worst drenching they’ve seen in years; others saw no rain at all.

The storm that rolled through between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. dumped 1.93 inches of rain at the official gauge at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Lexington County. Unofficial readings from the National Weather Service-approved personal gauges registered 3.75 inches and 2.23 inches in the Oak Grove area just north of the airport, and 1.52 inches just north of downtown Columbia.

A flood watch was issued at the height of the storm for the Five Points area, and the oft-flooded Rocky Branch jumped from less than a foot deep to 6 feet deep in several locations in an hour.

But the official Owens Field gauge just south of downtown Columbia got no rain. Neither did any of a number of unofficial gauges in Northeast Richland or Lower Richland. Gills Creek and Cedar Creek in central and southeastern Richland County didn’t show any rise at all.