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Holiday weather a mix of calm and fury

Tropical Depression Lee put a damper on Labor Day celebrations Monday as heavy showers and thunderstorms put York County under threat of flooding and tornadoes.

A flash flood watch has been posted for the county until Wednesday morning.

A combination of a cold front and tropical moisture associated with what remains of the tropical depression, brought heavy rainfall to the region Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Tony Sturey, of the Weather Service's office in Greer, said Monday afternoon that the track of Lee, a former tropical storm which dumped 10 inches or more of rain along the Gulf Coast, will move a bit farther west than first thought. He said that will decrease the rainfall totals in the Piedmont and foothills, but forecasters still expect more than enough to cause flooding.

"Equally important, the potential for tornadoes appears to be increasing this afternoon and tonight across northeast Georgia, the South Carolina Upstate, plus the foothills and western Piedmont of North Carolina," Sturey said.

About 3:15 p.m., the Weather Service issued a 45-minute tornado warning after a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was spotted on radar near Fort Mill.

During such warnings, anyone in a mobile home or vehicle should abandon it for sturdier shelter, the Weather Service advises.

Cotton Howell, the director of York County's Office of Emergency Management said people should go to an interior room on the lowest level of the building they're in. Find a room with no windows, such as a closet or bathroom, he said.

Sturey said another line of severe storms is likely this afternoon in the area.

The gray skies preceding Monday's rain didn't deter people from making the most of the holiday.

The Riverwalk trails along the Catawba River in Rock Hill were a popular spot for locals looking to fish, stroll and relax by the water.

After a long week at work, Garrett Woolf took his 5-year-old son Brenden to Riverwalk to enjoy a day off and "to get out of the house."

"It's nice to have this here," he said.

Family friend Jerrod Web saw a silver lining to the dark clouds above.

"It's an advantage to not having the sun beating down on you," he said.

Shortly thereafter, showers sent many scrambling to their cars.

The Charlotte Observer contributed.

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