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Center of Michael now passing over Lancaster County

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By Mark Manicone

Tropical Storm Michael, a former Category 4 hurricane, moved into Georgia and South Carolina overnight Wednesday and continues to move across the Piedmont.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, and is moving northwest at 23 mph.
It is currently centered over Lancaster, with most of the county and the city of Lancaster in the center of the storm. The actual center of the storm was 34 degrees 7 minutes north latitude and 80 degrees 8 minutes west longitude, which is in the Mahaffey Line area between Erwin Elementary School and Lancaster Memorial Park.
Lancaster Emergency Management Director Darren Player said that the lull in the storm is welcome news in regards to flooding.
“Right now we’re in the eye of the storm, that center, clear area. In about an hour, that wrap-around tail will come around, and by 4 or 5 p.m. we’ll be completely free,” he said.
Player noted that so far, the county has faired pretty well.
“And with the rain stopped, it allows our creeks to drain. We won’t get the flooding we were worried about. It’s all about how much rain we get in how much time,” he said.
City Administrator Flip Hutfles said that the city hasn’t had any flooding and damage problems yet, though the city hall roof continues to leak.
“Nothing has come across my desk so far today,” he said.
One side of Arch Street near the fire department was flooded where a storm drain is broken and blocking water from going inside.
Jimmy Boswell owns the building blocked by the water and said he has been trying to get the city to fix the storm drain for nearly a year.
County officials reported Thursday morning that sections of two roads in the Buford community – Lamplight Road and part of Tabernacle Road near Shiloh Unity Road – were flooded.
Duke Energy is reporting 40,699 power outages across their South Carolina service area, with 46 outages in Lancaster County.
U.S. Postal Worker Cheryl Walker didn’t let Thursday morning’s drenching downpour hamper her from delivering the mail on foot.
Walker has been with the postal service for 11 years and was all smiles while knocking on doors on McArdell Street.
“We don’t stop for the rain,” she said. “We’re always out here.”
She had to pause during her delivery while firefighters cut up a tree that had fallen across the street.
Once it was safe to pass through again, she was back to passing out the mail and warm greetings to everyone she came across.

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Reporter Kayla Vaughn contributed to this article. Follow reporter Mark Manicone on Twitter @mark_manicone or contact him at (803) 283-1152.