Eastern U.S. Flooding and Ice Storm
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During the week of January 5-9, 1998, the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada were severely effected by a storm system with a very deep southerly flow and abundant moisture. This resulted in flooding rains from the lower Mississippi valley through the southeast and into the northeast, several tornadoes, and a severe ice storm in parts of the northeast/New England and into Canada. The death toll for the event:
The heaviest rains and most severe flooding occurred in the mountains of North Carolina and northeast Tennessee, where up to 16 inches fell in a 2-day period. See below for some of the rainfall totals. Surveys indicate over 500 homes destroyed or with severe damage in North Carolina, and over 200 homes severely damaged or destroyed in Tennessee. Damages exceeded $15 million for western North Carolina and $20 million for eastern Tennessee. Tornado touchdowns produced some damage in Dublin, Georgia and Easley, South Carolina. Flooding also was a problem in parts of the lower Mississippi valley and upstate New York.
The severe ice storm mainly affected upstate New York, northern New Hampshire and Vermont, much of Maine, and southeast Canada. Some locations received over 3 inches of rain (as freezing rain), with radial ice thickness of one inch or more. Canada reported over 3 million utility customers without power immediately after the storm, while the northeast through New England reported over 500,000 customers without power. 80% of Maine's population lost electrical service. Overall damages approached $3 billion for Canada and were at least $1.4 billion for the U.S.
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The following are rainfall totals, in inches, for January 7-8, 1998 in northeast Georgia, northwest South Carolina, and western North Carolina. Amounts provided by National Weather Service's Greenville-Spartanburg office:
NORTHEAST GEORGIA COUNTIES: COUNTY LOCATION RAINFALL (INCHES) RABUN MOUNTAIN CITY 5.90 HABERSHAM CLARKESVILLE 5.06 CORNELIA 4.68 STEPHENS TOCCOA 4.71 FRANKLIN CARNESVILLE 2.88 HART HARTWELL 2.70 ELBERT ELBERTON 2.17 UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA COUNTIES: OCONEE SALEM 6.10 KEOWEE 5.37 JOCASSEE 5.25 CLEMSON 3.67 WALHALLA 2.68 PICKENS TABLE ROCK 6.50-7.00 PICKENS/EASLEY 5.00-6.00 CEDAR ROCK 4.00 3 MI SE EASLEY 3.03 ANDERSON ANDERSON AIRPORT 2.95 WEST PELZER 2.75 WILLIAMSTON 2.30 GREENVILLE US 25 NEAR NC BORDER 5.25 HUNTS BRIDGE 3.79 GOWENSVILLE 3.65 TRAVELERS REST 3.40 CAESARS HEAD 3.16 GREENVILLE 2.82 SPARTANBURG CAMPOBELLO 3.90 20 MI N GREER 3.60 GSP AIRPORT 2.22 LAKE BOWEN 1.12 WOODRUFF 1.00 LAURENS CLINTON 1.22 ABBEVILLE ANTREVILLE 1.51 CALHOUN FALLS 1.25 LAKE RUSSELL 0.88 GREENWOOD WARE SHOALS 1.00 GREENWOOD 0.49 CHEROKEE GAFFNEY 1.67 YORK YORK 1.42 LAKE WYLIE 0.90 CHESTER CHESTER 1.04 WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA COUNTIES: GRAHAM ROBBINSVILLE 2.58 WAUCHECHA 2.40 CLAY MURPHY 2.06 SWAIN TROUT FARM 4.84 BRYSON CITY 3.45 PIN OAK GAP 3.32 MACON HIGHLANDS 9.63 OTTO 5.47 FRANKLIN 4.67 HARRISON GAP 2.72 JACKSON HOGBACK MTN 16.12 ROBINSON CREEK 15.33 COLD CREEK 13.36 TANASEE CREEK 12.96 WOLF CREEK 11.64 CHARLEY RIDGE 10.91 CEDAR CLIFF 9.00 TUCKASEGEE 7.40 PUMPKINTOWN 6.72 SYLVA KINGS MTN 5.20 CULLOWHEE 2.96 HAYWOOD MT HARDY 12.20 DANIEL RIDGE 8.16 WAYNESVILLE 3.47 TRANSYLVANIA 5 MI NW CEDAR MTN 14.50 CONNESTEE FALLS 12.38 LAKE TOXAWAY 10.63 ROSMAN 9.02 BREVARD 8.92 PISGAH FOREST 7.92 BALSAM GROVE 7.80 RICH MTN 7.24 HENDERSON SUGARLOAF MTN 9.17 BEARWALLOW CREEK 7.81 HORSEPEN MTN 6.84 ETOWAH 7.67 HENDERSONVILLE 6.09 MILLS RIVER 5.54 DANA 5.08 BUNCOMBE BEAVERDAM CREEK 7.96 MT PISGAH 5.92 FLAT TOP MTN 5.07 ASHEVILLE AIRPORT 4.70 BARNARDSVILLE 4.36 CANDLER 3.82 ASHEVILLE DOWNTOWN 3.35 NEWFOUND CREEK 3.08 MADISON DUCKETT TOP & IVY GAP 3.36 LITTLE PINE CREEK 3.16 MARSHALL 2.49 HOT SPRINGS 1.64 ROLLINS 1.36 YANCEY BLUE ROCK 7.64 MT MITCHELL 7.50 BLACK MTN 4.86 MITCHELL SPRUCE PINE 9.64 HAWK 4.85 AVERY GRANDFATHER MTN 5.15 BEECH MTN 3.56 NEWLAND 1.84 ASHE JEFFERSON 4.32 CALDWELL LENOIR 2.31 EDGEMONT 1.52 RHODHISS 0.92 BAILEY CAMP 0.88 BURKE JONAS RIDGE 7.71 MORGANTON 2.22 BRIDGEWATER 2.02 HICKORY AIRPORT 1.47 MCDOWELL OLD FORT 6.29 RUTHERFORD FOREST CITY 1.52 POLK TRYON 4.38 CATAWBA LOOKOUT SHOALS 0.60 OXFORD SHOALS 0.58 COWAN FALLS 0.42 CLEVELAND CASAR 1.63 LINCOLN LINCOLNTON 1.86 VALE 1.18 GASTON MTN ISLAND 0.50 IREDELL TURNERSBURG 1.27 ROWAN SALISBURY 1.05 MECKLENBURG CHARLOTTE AIRPORT 1.26 CABARRUS CONCORD 1.34 MT PLEASANT 0.99
The last ice storm to strike with this (or greater) intensity was during February 1994 in the southeast. In 1994, NCDC prepared the report 1994 Weather in the Southeast: February Ice Storm and July Flooding about that storm.
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Last Updated Wednesday, 20-Aug-2008 11:47:28 EDT by Neal.Lott@noaa.gov, Doug.Ross@noaa.gov, Axel.Graumann@noaa.gov
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