LAURINBURG — After weeks of dry weather despite chances of storms daily, the area finally got the summer rain it’s been waiting on.
For the month of July, the Laurinburg area got 3.72 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service out of Raleigh. Most of that total, 3.43 inches to be exact, hit the area from Saturday until Tuesday — though different parts of the area could have gotten more or less rain.
The rains caused some flash flood warnings across the area but, according to Streets and Storm Water Supervisor Tyrone M. Smith, Public Works was only called into one area for flooding.
“Normally we have flash flood warning and usually get a few calls,” Smith said. “But we’re doing pretty good with drainage, I assume, since I’ve only gotten the one call.”
Smith explained the reason for flooding after sudden heavy rains is because of the pipe size and, while the drains and pipes can’t handle that much rain all at once, the water will eventually go down.
“It’s like pouring a gallon of water down a funnel,” Smith said. “It might take a while but eventually all of it goes through.”
Another reason for possible flooding is due to the gutters being backed up with debris such as leaves and sticks.
“We encourage all citizens to keep leaves from the gutter,” said Stacey McQuage, director of public utilities. “We do what we can to keep it clear but it helps if they’re helping too.”
McQuage said that Public Works goes out and looks at the areas to make sure there are no issues with the drains and clean them out after storms.
Heavy rains can also cause problems with crops, according to Scotland County Cooperative Extension Director Randy Wood. He explained that, after heavy rains, if the water sits on the soil for 48 hours or more it can cause a drowning of the crop.
Though currently, Wood said that there have been areas in the county, like Gibson, that needed the rain.
“We’re thankful for the rain, but too much rain can start to cause issues,” Wood said. “However, we aren’t at that point yet.”
But the excessive rain can cause crop issues, specifically with cotton and hay. With excessive rain, the cotton can grow in different ways that are more difficult to manage and harder to deal with. The rain not only affects the hay but also the farmers.
“A lot of people don’t realize that hay farmers need sunshine as much as they need rain,” Wood said. “They need the rain to grow, but they need to sunshine in order to bale the hay. You see a lot of loss when it rains like this so it hasn’t helped the hay situation.”
According to the National Weather Service, the area can potentially see between one-half inch to two inches of rain by Friday.
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]