Storms bring half-inch hail, 45-mph gusts, flash floods to Upstate SC, south Charlotte

Severe storms delivered half-inch hail, 45-mph gusts and flash flooding to parts of Upstate South Carolina and south Charlotte on Saturday, including Ballantyne.

Just after 6 p.m, lightning sparked a house fire in the 18400 block of Lilliesleaf Glenn Lane in Ballantyne. That is near the intersection of Community House Road and Ardrey Kell Road.

The fire caused $250,000 in damages to the house and a $50,000 loss of contents in the home, according to the Charlotte Fire Department.

At 5 p.m., “strong thunderstorms with intense lightning” and “very heavy rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour” struck parts of Rock Hill, York and Fort Mill, S.C., and Gastonia, metro and south Charlotte, Weddington and Pineville, according to a National Weather Service special weather statement.

Other strong storms were reported near Waxhaw in Union County and near McConnells, S.C.

Station Fox46 tweeted a resident’s photos of flooding in Ballantyne.

A flash flood warning remained in effect until 8:15 p.m. for south and southwest Charlotte, Lake Wylie, Weddington, Fort Mill, Pineville, Tega Cay, Wesley Chapel, Marvin, Steele Creek and Charlotte’s Arboretum area.

A flood advisory was in effect for Richland and Lexington counties in the Midlands, including Columbia, West Columbia, Cayce, the Riverbanks Zoo, Sesquicentennial State Park, the State Fair Grounds, West Columbia Riverwalk and Five Points.

“Frequent lightning is occurring with this storm,” according to the NWS statement. “If outdoors, try to get indoors or into a hard topped vehicle. Otherwise, stay away from open areas and isolated high objects such as trees.”

The storm was expected to intensify, according to the statement.

“When indoors, stay away from windows and doors and avoid using wired electronic devices,” NWS meteorologists said in the statement. “Do not take a shower or bath. Try to unplug unnecessary appliances before the storm approaches.”

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.