MYRTLE BEACH — Days of heat advisories and record setting high temperatures finally halted Tuesday afternoon when thunderstorms dumped rain along the Grand Strand, and forecasters say more wet weather is likely through Thursday.
The sudden deluge prompted watches for flooding through the evening with extension overnight, and more storms are in Wednesday’s forecast.
The National Weather Service said the storm pattern could continue through Wednesday and Thursday, with drier weather expected on Friday and into the weekend, because of a cold front stretching across North Carolina that is slowly moving to the south.
“That cold front is not moving much at all,” she said. “It’s very slowly progressing southward so we are going to have this kind of weather pattern through the week before the weekend.”
On Tuesday lightning strikes, roadway flooding and vehicle wrecks were reported throughout the area.
Horry County Fire Rescue investigated five buildings struck by lightning, spokeswoman Leslie Yancey said. One instance resulted in an attic fire on Manor Circle that officials confirmed was caused by lightning. Yancey said another was in Conway where Horry County provided mutual aid. The other three fires caused electrical damage, she said.
The storm dumped 1.81 inches of rain at the Bay Road measuring station in Socastee by 4:30 p.m., according to National Weather Service meteorologist Sandy LaCorte. In contrast, .32 inches had fallen at the North Myrtle Beach airport. The NWS also monitored several reports of flooding on the lower portion of the Grand Strand, and LaCorte.
The flood warning had been canceled by the NWS after 5 p.m. Tuesday, but a severe thunderstorm warning remained.
Several road closures were in place Tuesday afternoon.
Capt. David Knipes with Myrtle Beach police said the worst two spots in the city were on U.S. 501 between Alder and Cedar Streets and Oak Street near the post office.
Just before 4 p.m. Knipes said the roads were draining well and the rain had stopped. More downpours were expected, and Knipes said the roadways would be watched for flooding throughout the storms.
Barricades also were in place on Mr. Joe White Avenue at Oak Street for beach-bound traffic, and at Seaboard Street for cars headed toward U.S. 17.
Traffic on U.S. 17 in the construction zone at the backgate of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force base was heavier than normal when the traffic lights went out early Tuesday afternoon around 2 p.m. Myrtle Beach police directed traffic in the area for several hours during the heavy rains that flooded parts of the roadway. The lights still weren’t functioning at 6 p.m. causing extensive backups on U.S. 17 as well as the frontage roads near Palmetto Pointe Boulevard.
S.C. Highway Patrol reported a tree in the roadway on U.S. 501 north near Horry Georgetown Technical College, but S.C. DOT traffic cameras showed few backups in that area.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.