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Heavy rain headed this way

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Tropical Storm Andrea bears down

By Greg Summers

Get ready to get wet.

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According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain could drench this part of the Carolinas today as moisture from Tropical Storm Andrea collides with a lingering cold front.

The Associated Press reported Thursday, June 6, that up to 4 inches of rain could fall across the state through Saturday. 

The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for Andrea along the Grand Strand. The heaviest rainfall is expected along the coast, where the center of the storm is expected to move. 

Just after noon on Thursday, Andrea’s winds were measured at more than 60 mph and the tropical storms had spawned five tornadoes in Florida. Carrabelle, south of Tallahassee, Fla., reported 4.5 inches of rain in a five-hour period ending at 8 a.m. 

The Piedmont isn’t immune from the effects of this weather system, said WCNC-TV weather forecaster Larry Sprinkle.

“It could certainly have an effect on our weather picture in the next 24 to 26 hours,” Sprinkle said Thursday. 

At 8 a.m. Thursday, a flood watch was issued for 39 counties in central Georgia and the Carolinas, including Lancaster County. Parts of the Midlands and Savannah River basin are already dealing with torrential rainfalls as the storm comes ashore on the western coast of Florida, near Tampa. 

A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding in poor drainage areas and low-lying and urban areas, along with areas along creeks and streams, based on the current weather conditons.

“At this time, the highest confidence for locally heavy rainfall is across the eastern Midlands along and south of Interstate 26,” the weather statement reads.  

According to the latest forecast information, the  potential exists for rainfall amounts in excess of 2 inches here as Tropical Storm Andrea tracks on an northeastern path with winds up to 50 mph.

After coming ashore on Florida’s gulf coast, the tropical storm is expected to skirt up the East Coast before eventually moving back out into the Atlantic Ocean, Sprinkle said

Much of downtown Lancaster was hit with a downpour during the lunch hour Thursday. Sprinkle said he expects the heaviest rainfall here between 3 and 7 a.m. Friday.

“We’re in for a couple of days of moderate to heavy rainfall,” he said.  

About the flood watch

The flood watch remains in effect through tonight.

With the ground already saturated, flash flooding is possible, along with falling trees.

Duke Energy issued a statement Thursday urging customers in its service area to watch for downed or sagging power lines as severe weather moves through the area.

Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy and local law enforcement.  

If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. 

If you must get out the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. 

Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

If you experience a power outage, call Duke Energy’s automated outage-reporting system at  (800) 769-3766.

 

 Contact copy editor Greg Summers at (803) 283-1156