5-10 inches of rain possible


Storm may cause flooding, power outages

By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com



Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times Rains this past week have left the ground in Union County saturated and more rain was expected this weekend from the combination of a low pressure system and a hurricane. The system could drop anywhere from five inches to 10 inches of rain on Union County this weekend, which when combined with the already saturated ground could result in flooding and trees falling results in power outages and roads being blocked.


Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times Rains this past week have left the ground in Union County saturated and more rain was expected this weekend from the combination of a low pressure system and a hurricane. The system could drop anywhere from five inches to 10 inches of rain on Union County this weekend, which when combined with the already saturated ground could result in flooding and trees falling results in power outages and roads being blocked.


By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

UNION COUNTY — The combination of a continental low pressure system over the southeast and a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean could drop anywhere from five to 10 inches of rain on Union County through the beginning of next week, possibly causing flooding, fallen trees, blocked roads, and power outages.

Meteorologist Bill Martin with National Weather Service in Greer said Friday that a “significant rainfall event” was expected to begin Friday night and early Saturday morning with moderate to heavy rainfall continuing all day Saturday and into Sunday. While the rain is expected to lessen somewhat Sunday, Martin said it would nevertheless continue and could drop as much as another inch of rain on the area.

Martin said that while the amount of rainfall will vary from place to place, Upstate South Carolina including Union County and western North Carolina could receive anywhere from 5 inches to 10 inches of rain between Friday night and Sunday. He said the heavy rainfall is due to the combination of a “large continental low” over the eastern US and Hurricane Joaquin over the Atlantic Ocean. Martin said that normally the continenal low would bring heavy rainfall to the area on its own, but that Joaquin is intensifying and increasing the amount of precipitation by feeding warm, moist air into the low. He said that while it appears Joaquin will remain out over the ocean, its impact will nevertheless be felt in Union County and the rest of the Upstate along with western North Carolina.

Martin said that the significant rainfall event resulting from the combination of the two systems is also expected to result in widespread flooding, tree falls, and power outages in the affected areas. He said these things are likely to occur because of what the weather service calls “antecedent conditions.” Martin said the ground in the region is already saturated from the rains earlier this week, and because of this, any additional rain that falls will run-off into rivers and creeks causing them to rise and flood. He said the saturation also weakens the ground around the roots of trees making it easier for them to topple, especially in heavy winds.

All this could cause power outages with trees and/or their limbs falling across power lines while roads could be blocked, either due to fallen trees and/or flooding.

SCDOT

The possiblity of flooding and blocked road had the South Carolina Department of Transportation getting ready for the impending storms and their impact.

In a statement released Thursday, the SCDOT announced that its personnel in every county across the state spent the day gathering and preparing debris-clearing equipment, including heavy equipment, chainsaws, and other items used to remove tree limbs and debris from roadways and bridges. Employees also readied equipment such as signs and barricades to be put in place on roads and bridges that could become washed out.

SCDOT crews also spent Thursday inspecting problem areas prone to flooding.

“All SCDOT crews statewide are on notice to work throughout the weekend clearing roadways and to be prepared to respond for as long as necessary,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Christy Hall, after meeting with top SCDOT officials Thursday evening.

During the weekend, if the public sees water standing on roads or problems with roads or bridges, SCDOT asks that they contact local law enforcement agencies or the SC Highway Patrol. Those agencies are first-responders and will contact SCDOT crews as needed.

“If you encounter standing water on a highway, please do not attempt to drive through it for safety reasons,” Hall said. “We ask that you notify law enforcement.”

Hall urged citizens to monitor weather conditions and to stay alert for advisories from federal, state and local agencies.

Union County

Local agencies were also getting ready for the storm and/or responding to its effects already.

The Union County Public Works Department had already responded to two reports of downed trees as of late Friday morning and county personnel were out working to try and prevent flooding on the roads.

Equipment Operator Myron Harris said the public works personnel had to respond to a report of a tree down on a road Thursday night and then to the report of a tree down on another road Friday morning. He said both trees were cleared away and urged the public to contact the public works department at 429-1675 or call 911 if they find a tree fallen onto a road.

Harris said that public works personnel were also out Friday morning checking to see if the drainage ditches along county were clear. He said this was ensure that the ditches could carry away any and all rain that flowed into them from off the roads.

City of Union Utility Department Director Joe Nichols said Friday that the city had so far experienced no major power outages because of the storm system. Nichols said that there have been sporadic incidents of tree limbs falling on service lines to individual houses including one that morning. He attributed this to the ground being saturated and the trees still with their foliage on them being heavy causing tree limbs to break off and/or the tree itself to topple onto a line.

Nichols said utility personnel repaired the service lines and restored power to the affected homes. He said his department, which has personnel on call 24 hours a day, is ready to respond to any power outages caused by the storm.

City of Union utility customers who experience power outages should call 429-1707.

Electri Co-Ops

The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. issued a statement urging the public to be aware of flood-related electrical hazards

“Electricity and water never go together, and when you’re dealing with floodwater you’re in an especially risky situation,” said Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. “Keep safety in mind every step of the way.”

The organization offered the following flood safety measures:

• If you see a downed power line, stay away and call 911. If you’re driving, and a power line falls across your vehicle, stay inside until help arrives.

• If floodwaters are approaching your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box and unplug appliances.

• If water covers electrical outlets or plugged-in cords, stay away. The same goes if you hear buzzing, snapping, crackling or popping sounds.

• Before entering a flood-damaged home or building, make sure the power is off and don’t attempt to reset circuit breakers until all water has receded.

The press also stated that “if your home loses power, call your local electric cooperative to report the outage, and make sure your utility has your current phone number and an email address.”

Additional safety and storm related information is available at www.ecsc.org/storm-center.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times
Rains this past week have left the ground in Union County saturated and more rain was expected this weekend from the combination of a low pressure system and a hurricane. The system could drop anywhere from five inches to 10 inches of rain on Union County this weekend, which when combined with the already saturated ground could result in flooding and trees falling results in power outages and roads being blocked.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_IMG_00021.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Daily Times
Rains this past week have left the ground in Union County saturated and more rain was expected this weekend from the combination of a low pressure system and a hurricane. The system could drop anywhere from five inches to 10 inches of rain on Union County this weekend, which when combined with the already saturated ground could result in flooding and trees falling results in power outages and roads being blocked.

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times
Rains this past week have left the ground in Union County saturated and more rain was expected this weekend from the combination of a low pressure system and a hurricane. The system could drop anywhere from five inches to 10 inches of rain on Union County this weekend, which when combined with the already saturated ground could result in flooding and trees falling results in power outages and roads being blocked.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_IMG_0003.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Daily Times
Rains this past week have left the ground in Union County saturated and more rain was expected this weekend from the combination of a low pressure system and a hurricane. The system could drop anywhere from five inches to 10 inches of rain on Union County this weekend, which when combined with the already saturated ground could result in flooding and trees falling results in power outages and roads being blocked.
Storm may cause flooding, power outages

By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

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