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Heavy storms drench Charlotte area again

Drenching thunderstorms pummeled the Charlotte area for the second time in less than a week Monday, dumping up to 6 inches of rain in spots and causing another round of flash flooding.

The storms continued to re-form along a corridor stretching from Gaffney, S.C., eastward to Richmond County. Numerous flash flood warnings and flood advisories were issued during the day by the National Weather Service.

No injuries were reported, and flooding did not appear to approach levels of last Tuesday night, when a half-foot of rain damaged homes and vehicles in the Matthews area.

Once again, Matthews was hit hard by the rain, with between 1.5 and 2 inches falling in eastern Mecklenburg County. But the heaviest rain Monday fell just west of Lake Wylie, with up to 6 inches reported by radar in northeast York County.

Mint Hill police reported flash flooding early Monday afternoon on Lebanon Road near Pine Lake Country Club, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were called to direct traffic on Sunset Road near Interstate 77 due to high water.

Heavy rain and wet streets probably were contributing factors to a number of wrecks. A motorist had to be freed by firefighters from a midday wreck at Randolph and Wendover roads in southeast Charlotte. And a tractor-trailer jackknifed on the ramp from southbound Interstate 85 to southbound Interstate 77 around the same time.

Lightning struck homes in the Sardis Plantation and Piper Glen communities of southeast Charlotte. In each case, there were no reports of serious damage. At the height of the storm late Monday morning, more than 2,000 Duke Energy customers in Mecklenburg County were without power.

Rainfall totals, as measured by National Weather Service-monitored gauges, ranged up to nearly 3 inches at Tega Cay along Lake Wylie and at Norman Shores along Lake Norman. Charlotte’s Center City area wasn’t immune, as more than 1.8 inches was reported at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

The thunderstorms were triggered by a weak disturbance crossing the Carolinas. A moist onshore flow from the Atlantic, which was responsible for the clouds and rain over the weekend, contributed to the problems.

Forecasters expect this unsettled pattern to continue through Tuesday.

The clouds and rain also contributed to another day of cooler-than-average temperatures, which hovered in the mid 70s for much of Monday. The daily high temperature in Charlotte has failed to reach the average high of 89 degrees since last Tuesday, when it reached 94 degrees. Saturday’s high of 74 was the second-coldest July 19 high temperature in Charlotte weather history.

More showers and storms are forecast Tuesday, with highs in the mid 80s.

“Finally on Wednesday, I expect that we will break out and see some sun,” said the Weather Service’s Pat Moore. Highs are expected to be near 90 degrees.

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