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Tropical Storm Beryl Blamed For One S.C. Death

May 30, 2012

By Joey Holleman, The (Columbia, S.C.) State

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Tropical Storm Beryl hit some inland areas harder than the coast, dumping more than five inches of rain, knocking down many trees and contributing to at least one death early Wednesday in the state`s central I-95 corridor.

Donald Hickson, 51, of Orangeburg died after a tree fell on the Chevrolet Tahoe he was driving on on SC 400 around 2:10 a.m. Wednesday in Orangeburg County, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol. The Orangeburg`s airport weather station reported winds around 30 mph and heavy rain at that time.

Beryl`s major impact on the state involved heavy rain. Rain gauges picked up rainfall totals of 6.47 inches in the Cameron area of Calhoun County, 5.23 inches in the Vance area of Orangeburg County and 5.07 inches in Barnwell, according to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.

Other readings above three inches were recorded in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Denmark, Givhans, Loris, Manning, Orangeburg, Ridgeland, St. Matthews, Summerton and Summerville. Most of those hard-hit areas were along the I-95 corridor in the middle of the state.

While there were a few flash flooding reports along the coast, the most common problems were trees falling on roads. Law enforcement officials reported trees down in Charleston, Dorchester and Jasper counties along the coast, and the most downed-tree reports were in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 1 a.m. Wednesday.

A National Weather Service team traveled to Holly Hill Wednesday and determined a weak EF1 tornado touched down just southeast of town. It took the tops of some trees, uprooted others and then left flattened swirls of corn in a field. No injuries were reported.

The weather service stations in the Upstate, where drought conditions are most severe, got very little rain -- less than half an inch in Anderson and Greenville-Spartanburg. But there were some beneficial spotty outbursts in the upper Savannah River area. A U.S. Geological Survey gauge at Lake Hartwell registered 1.29 inches, and downstream gauges at Clearwater in Aiken County (1.68) and Mt. Carmel in McCormick County (1.33) were doused.

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(c)2012 The State, Columbia, S.C.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Story image: Jeff and Melissa Stephens survey the rising water brought on by Tropical storm Beryl on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at their home on Caswell Station Road in Kinston, N.C. AP Photo/The Free Press, Janet S. Carter

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