Rainy August ends as second-wettest on record

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August was the area’s second-wettest month on record and fifth-wettest month of all time, according to a preliminary report by the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C.

Daniel Field recorded 12.99 inches, while Augusta Regional Airport recorded 12.28, almost eight inches more than Augusta usually sees in August. The wettest August on record was in 1915.

The quickest and heaviest storm happened Aug. 11, when a slow-moving thunderstorm developed in a very moist environment and produced almost five inches of rainfall in a little more than two hours, causing heavy flooding throughout Augusta and Columbia County, the report said.

Flooding caused problems for a few key intersections in Augusta, including Laney-Walker Boulevard near Medical College of Georgia Hospital, sections of Peach Orchard Road and most of Olde Town. The storm also overwhelmed Augusta’s wastewater system, pushing 4.7 million gallons of untreated sewage into Butler Creek and the Savannah River.

The Augusta chapter of the American Red Cross helped 12 families whose homes were heavily damaged.

The weather service report said Hurricane Isaac added nearly two inches of rain in the last few days of the month.

August was also cooler than normal. The average temperature was 78.8 degrees, 1.7 degrees cooler than average. The report said Augusta recorded the most rain in the area except for Aiken (13.63) and Fairfield (13.02) counties.

Despite the rain, Augusta is still 3.76 inches below average for the year.

Meteorologist Tenia Morrison said unless the area sees another tropical storm, there is no reason to believe the trend will continue into September, which typically sees a little more than three inches.

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