Flash flood warning issued for York, Chester counties

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comDecember 23, 2013 

An earlier flash flood watch for York and Chester counties has been upgraded to a flood warning after weather officials detected very heavy rainfall across the region.

By 7:30 a.m., more than two inches of rain had already fallen in the area, weather officials said in a statement. Forecasters predict that runoff from the excessive rainfall will cause flooding to occur, particularly on McConnells Highway at Wildcat Creek, Saluda Road and S.C. 324.

The National Weather Service first issued a watch early Monday, a day after torrential rains were dumped on the region, leading to some flooding on roadways. The Highway Patrol early Monday was investigating several collisions, one of which had injuries at S.C. 49 and West Liberty Hill Road in York.

There were reported signs of flooding on West Oak Road at Mount Gallant Road in York, according to troopers, and along Saluda Road in Chester.

The weather service expects periods of heavy rain to continue throughout Monday morning, lasting until noon. The heavy rainfall will likely result in rising stream levels and localized flooding in urban areas with poor drainage.

Forecasters don't expect the rain to begin tapering off until about 4 p.m., said Doug Outlaw, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Much of the deluge comes from a bundle of cold air coming from the plain states and Ohio River Valley, he said.

"There's been a strong feed of very moist air coming all the way from the Pacific Ocean," he said, "feeding in across the Gulf and up into the Carolinas."

Within the last 24 hours, Chester has received 2.7 inches of rain, while both York and Rock Hill have seen more than 3.30 inches.

The total, he said, could very well reach more than 4 inches by the time the rainfall stops.

The Chester County Emergency Management Office did not report any excessive cases of flooding in the town.

Officials in York County have closed Wilson Chapel Road in Sharon indefinitely due to some flooding in the roadway, said Cotton Howell, emergency management director.

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