Fay makes her way through county and brings lot of rain

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By Jenny Hartley

The remnants of Tropical Storm Fay dumped a deluge of rain on Lancaster County and triggered several tornado warnings Tuesday.

The county was under a tornado watch until 2 a.m. today, and tornado warnings were issued three times Tuesday afternoon.

The county was also under a flash flood warning for part of the day.

According to reports from the National Weather Service, the southern and eastern parts of the county were hit the hardest by the storm, with the tornado warnings issued for those areas.

The rain came as a tropical depression, once Tropical Storm Fay, moved through the area.

Fay made landfall a record four times in Florida, causing widespread flooding in the Sunshine State for nearly a week.

Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Morris Russell said no actual tornadoes were reported in Lancaster County by the National Weather Service, and no damage was reported here.

"There was some rotation, but no funnel clouds that I know of," Russell said.

The storm was mostly a rain event, although a few wind gusts as strong as 35 mph were recorded, Russell said. The weather service expected the worst of the storm to be over by 10 p.m. Tuesday.

No power outages were reported.

"It's just been a lot of water, yard flooding and a lot of water on the roadways," Russell said. "This is the rain we've all been asking for, for some time."

There were several reports of flooded roads Tuesday, as parts of the county received 4 to 5 inches of rain, Russell said.

Duckwood Road in the Tradesville area was reported closed by flood waters about 10:30 a.m., and water was flowing over the road in the 40-Acre Rock and Flat Rock Creek areas, according to the weather service.

A personal weather station in the Grace Avenue area recorded 2.25 inches of rain by Tuesday afternoon.

Lancaster Police Department Chief Hugh White said officers kept their eyes on city creeks, which often flood during heavy rain, but no streets had to be blocked off.

"It sounds like mainly the southern part of the county is getting it, the Heath Springs and Kershaw areas," White said.

Lancaster County Water and Sewer District Manager Mark Knight said 2.53 inches of rain fell at the district's wastewater treatment plant by 4:30 p.m. He didn't call the storm a drought buster, but said the rain here and in the northern part of the Catawba River corridor from Fay will go a long way to easing the drought.

"Hopefully, this is an indicator for the next couple of months," Knight said. "We don't want to see the violent weather that often goes along with tropical storms, but this is what it could take for drought conditions to improve."

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or (803) 283-1151