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Heavy rains trigger minor flooding

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By Jenny Hartley

Lancaster received about 3.5 inches of rain by about 4 p.m. and was under a tornado watch Thursday afternoon, but no serious damage had been reported.

Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Morris Russell said stronger winds whipped up later on Thursday, blowing parts of the roof of the old Springs Foundry on Memorial Park Road into a neighboring yard.

A few power lines and limbs were down, and there was minor street flooding in parts of the county, Russell said.

County emergency officials planned to keep the Emergency Operations Center on West Gay Street open until at least 7 p.m., when the tornado watch was scheduled to expire.

No tornado warnings had been issued for Lancaster County on Thursday, although one had been issued for neighboring Fairfield County.

Russell said the wacky weather was caused by a front moving through the state which pulled moisture and warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. Temperatures have been warmer the past several days, with higher humidity, after an colder than normal November and first week of December.

“We'll have some cold air on the backside of this,” Russell said.

In the city of Lancaster, where several streets are prone to flash flooding, city workers prepared barricades but didn't have to block off any streets.

Lancaster Police Department Chief Hugh White, who lives in the city, said he prepared to go to work Thursday morning in a heavy downpour, several of which moved through the area.

“My front yard looked like a pond,” White said.

Expect cooler weather to return today, with a high of 54 degrees and decreasing clouds. Conditions will be mostly sunny for Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the low 50s. Saturday's low will be 29 and Sunday's will be 39, according to the National Weather Service.