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Forecast: Export more rain, nearly all week

A much-needed drying trend across the Charlotte region ended abruptly early Monday in the University City area, where more than 2 inches of rain fell in two hours, sending a few streams and creeks over their banks.

No serious flooding was reported this time, however. The same area was hit hard by flooding in late June.

Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley toured a farm that was damaged by flooding and said this summer’s heavy rain has been “disastrous for our farmers.” And residents of the Columbia area cleaned up, after nearly 5 inches of rain fell in the S.C. capital city.

After up to 18 inches of rain fell in some spots near Charlotte in June and July, many area residents saw below-average precipitation over the first 18 days of the month. Relatively light amounts of rain fell over the weekend in the area, but the heavy precipitation arrived early Monday.

A cluster of heavy showers and thunderstorms moved into northern Mecklenburg and western Cabarrus counties after midnight. More than 2 1/4 inches of rain was recorded at Mallard Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, and more than 2 inches was reported at a gauge on Ken Hoffman Drive, near W.T. Harris Boulevard and North Tryon Street.

Flood warnings were in effect for part of the overnight hours, stretching into mid-morning Monday. There were no reports of significant flooding in the immediate Charlotte area. However, the National Weather Service said Mallard Creek rose to flood stage about 6:30 a.m., before receding.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s office in Greer, S.C., expect more of the same for the rest of the week, although temperatures are expected to climb slowly, returning to late-summer levels by the end of the week. High temperatures by Thursday and Friday could be pushing 90 degrees, forecasters say.

Meanwhile, residents in the Columbia area were cleaning up Monday, after more than 4 inches of rain fell in a few hours Sunday afternoon. Flash flooding was reported across the Midlands of South Carolina, including at the flood-prone Five Points area near the University of South Carolina.

The heavy rain washed out a portion of Elgin Road in Kershaw County, about 85 miles south of Charlotte. The damage was near Lugoff-Elgin High School, and it came on the eve of the first day of classes Monday for students in the county. School opened as scheduled, however. Officials from the S.C. Department of Transportation said it could be several days before the road is repaired.

The National Weather Service said 4.38 inches of rain fell at Columbia’s Metro Airport.

Haley visited a large farm in Dorchester County, near Charleston, and she said she is asking the federal government for a disaster declaration in the area.

“The amount of rain this year has been disastrous for our farmers, and the rain is impacting our economy as we speak,” she said.

The state’s agriculture officials say 36 counties are reporting that at least 30 percent of summer crops have been damaged by the heavy rain.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter@slyttle
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