Update: Cave-ins reported; heavy rain predicted to continue after near-record rainfall on Wednesday

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 15, 2013 

Update (10:31 a.m.):

Public Works Director Pat Biegler said the Public Works Department has received ten calls so far about possible cave-ins in various locations around town. These cave-ins are near sewer drains and the sides of roads. The direct cause for these cave-ins will not be determined until the ground surrounding them is dug up, Biegler said.

"They could come from a joint in the sewer that has too much pressure," Biegler said. "If you got a joint that's separated and you're seeing some really high volumes, it'll start to shoot out and erode the soil around there. We don't know if that's what is causing these, however."

Drivers should exercise caution when driving in the following areas where cave-ins have been reported: the 3800 block of Weems Road, the 1600 block of Whitehaven Drive, the 900 block of Eastwood Drive and the 400 block of Wickham Drive.

Original story

Columbus will continue to receive heavy thunderstorms through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Willis told the Ledger-Enquirer Thursday morning that heavy rain, thunderstorms and the possibility of flash flooding has been forecasted for the region until Sunday. The heaviest rains are expected to fall Thursday and Saturday.

"Through this weekend there will still be a high chance of rainfall," Willis said.

Wednesday afternoon's deluge caused flash flooding in the areas of Manchester Expressway, Airport Thruway and Milgen Road. Willis said that during that storm, the National Weather Service recorded 5.73 inches of rain at the Columbus Airport, which was the epicenter of the storm.

"That's the second highest amount of rain recorded in Columbus in one day," Willis said. "The highest amount of rain recorded was 5.74 inches on April 1, 1981."

Though it was close to topping the 1981 record, Wednesday's weather did bring enough precipitation to place Columbus well above the average rainfall expected for this time of month.

"As of yesterday, Columbus received 6.45 inches of rain," Willis said. "Typically, it would be 1.77 inches. That puts you in step with the rest of the year."

So far this year, Columbus has received 48.19 inches of rain. By this time of year, its average for the region to receive 30.74 inches of rain. Columbus was expected to receive 46.5 inches of rain in 2013.

"You really don't need anymore rain, but it looks like you're going to get it," Willis said.

Willis encouraged motorists to avoid flooded roadways, as drivers may not be able to see how deep the water is or if the roadway has been washed away.

The Columbus Water Works reported five spills because of the rain on Wednesday one spill today. All were corrected.

A spill reported at 9 a.m. today happened at Whittlesey Road when sewer crews responded to an overflow of a line. The estimated volume of discharge was 219 gallons into Lindsay Creek. The spill was corrected by 9 p.m.

A spill reported at 4900 Boyd Drive on Wednesday saw an estimated 3,654 gallons discharged into Lindsay Creek.. Sewer crews responded at 4 p.m. The problem was corrected by 9 p.m.

It was 4:05 p.m. when sewer workers responded to an overflow at Austell Drive. An estimated 3,215 gallons of discharge went into Lindsay Creek. The problem was corrected by 9:01 p.m.

Sewer crews responded to an overflow at Austell Drive at 4:10 p.m. An estimated 1,860 gallons of discharge went into Lindsay Creek. The problem was corrected by 8:40 p.m.

Sewer crews responded to a spill at 4:15 p.m. on Vernon Drive. An estimated 1,984 gallons of discharge went into Lindsay Creek. The problem was corrected by 9:03 p.m.

A spill brought sewer crews to Savannah Drive at 6:26 p.m. The estimated volume of discharge was 992 gallons into Cooper Creek. The problem was corrected by 8:50 p.m.

Know of any problems caused by the weather? Contact us at 706 571 8622.

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