Distant storm clouds and rumbles of thunder approached the area as crowds flocked to Riverwalk Augusta, where the lower level was closed for the second day. The upper level remained open while emergency management staffers monitored water levels.
Barbara Richardson, of Midland Valley, snapped photos of the water that breached riverbanks, inundated walking paths and partially submerged benches. Jessye Norman Amphitheater was also underwater.
“This is something rare to see,” Richardson said.
All Augusta boat ramps and boat access points remained closed. Lock and Dam Park and access to the Baurle Boat Ramp below Augusta Regional Airport was closed. Closed roads included Marina Road and Lock and Dam Road at Doug Barnard Parkway, though Phinizy Swamp Nature Park employees will be allowed access to report to work. Wrightsboro Road at Flowing Wells Road reopened Thursday afternoon.
A thunderstorm dumping heavy rain stalled over the area Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for Richmond and Columbia counties.
A flood warning is in effect until Sunday at 8 p.m. as tropical moisture moves into the area, meteorologist Mike Cammarata said. Chances of rain were 60 percent today and Saturday and 50 percent for Sunday.