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                   Wednesday, July 9, 2008 - 7:20PM

Charleston severe storm and flash flood

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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HD CHASE VIDEO 1: Incoming storm, shelf cloud and lightning

A very intense storm slammed Charleston and points north today. Some of the most intense and frequent lightning I've seen in a long time was accompanied by a deluge of rain that overwhelmed small creeks in the area. The well-defined shelf cloud moving in at the leading edge of the storm was spectacular, dragging itself over the ridges above town. These views are from Spring Hill Cemetery, looking south and west over downtown:


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I encountered significant street flooding on Washington Street East (near the Capitol) in Charleston immediately after the storm. The bulk of the lightning passed north of town, indicating that the heaviest rain should have fallen there also. As a result, I headed up Greenbrier Street to check on the creeks and streams north of town. While Elk Twomile and Mill Creek were running swiftly, I saw no problems there. However, approaching Big Chimney, many severe 'excessive runoff indicators' in the form of rocks and debris washed across the roadway, as well as the distinctive 'floodwater smell' were signs that flash flooding was likely in progress nearby. I ended up on Coopers Creek Road, which was covered by more than a foot of water by the creek overflowing its banks. These stills were taken after the water had receded a few inches, however the video shows the creek at its peak level.


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