Heavy rains today, winter storm watch for tomorrow

A line of thunderstorms that came through the Augusta area overnight and into this morning dropped more than two inches of rainfall in some areas.

Meanwhile, a winter storm watch has now been issued for the area for Sunday night, with a prediction of some local areas receiving up to one inch of snowfall accumulation.

Pam Tucker, Columbia County's emergency services director, stated that as of Saturday morning the forecast was calling for a 70 percent chance of precipitation tomorrow.

The winter storm watch issued by the National Weather Service states that rain will mix with snow by late Sunday afternoon and will change to all snow around midnight, with temperatures dropping into the upper 20s. Snow will then begin to stick to grassy areas, cars and house tops, and some slippery spots might develop on some secondary roads, according to the watch.

Mrs. Tucker said a conference call with the National Weather Service is set for tomorrow for the latest forecast.

"They should have a very good idea by then of what we can expect locally," Mrs. Tucker stated.

According to the watch "more moisture over the area may cause more snow, but the latest information suggests snow amounts of one inch or less."

Earlier today, it was rain that pelted the area. Mrs. Tucker stated in an e-mail that from 7 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. today the following Columbia County sites received the listed amount of rainfall: Walnut Hill - 1.71 inches; Ivy Falls - 1.4 inches; Clarks Hill -1.7 inches; Point Comfort - 1.6 inches; Reed Creek -1.4 inches; Little River - 2.1 inches; and Crawford creek - 1.8 inches.

Although no flooding has been reported in Richmond and Columbia counties, a flood warning has been issued for Stevens Creek at Modoc. It lasts until Sunday evening.

Heavy rain today caused the river to quickly rise. It is expected to crest to 19.4 feet this afternoon, which would be nearly a half foot over flood stage, affecting mostly farmland along Stevens Creek north of the U.S. Highway 23 bridge near Modoc.

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