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Aiken escapes Florence relatively unscathed

September 18, 2018

Tropical Depression Florence, at one point a fearsome Category 4 hurricane, dropped a little more than 1 inch of rain throughout the Aiken area over the weekend.

Preliminary data from the National Weather Service – and its community of observers and data collectors – indicated the city of Aiken experienced 1.18 inches of rain over roughly 72 hours.

Areas around New Ellenton, near the Savannah River Site, had slightly less rain: between 1.03 inches and 1.06 inches.

Rain in the Aiken area began Saturday morning and tapered early Monday morning.

In all, Florence proved relatively underwhelming in Aiken County. Storm-related damage in the city was only slight, according to City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh.

“There was a downed tree on Silver Bluff Road on Saturday,” Bedenbaugh said Monday, “but for the most part there was minimal effects from Hurricane Florence in the city of Aiken.”

“It was very, very minimal,” Mayor Rick Osbon later said.

On Facebook, the mayor thanked city and county officials for their emergency preparedness and overall conduct.

“I hope we never feel the effects of a storm like this one directly,” Osbon wrote, “but if we ever do, it is comforting to know we have a spirit of togetherness and service to one another in our community.”

As of noon Monday, approximately 13,800 power outages were reported across South Carolina, according to data provided by the governor’s office.

A 9 a.m. U.S. Department of Energy situation report listed 17,629 outages across the state, a 60.5 percent decrease compared to DOE’s Sunday outage numbers.

Florence’s major threat moving forward is flooding, a message S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and other emergency management officials have stuck with. The National Weather Service has warned of the same.

Florence caused no severe flooding in the Aiken area over the weekend, as was reported earlier in the Aiken Standard.

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