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Storm hits city hard

A slow-moving storm system moved through Lincoln County Sunday, dropping about three inches of rain and causing flooding in the city.
High winds caused damage in the North Brook area and lightening struck several buildings in Boger City and eastern Lincoln County, but the city of Lincolnton was the hardest hit, said Susan Spake, director of Emergency Management.
“The city felt the brunt of it,” Spake said. “It stayed here for over an hour, and that’s very unusual.”
Some power outages were reported in Lincolnton, she said.
The city also experienced what the National Weather Service calls Localized Urban Flooding, which happens when areas with a lot of pavement rely on storm drainage systems to carry water away.
“Storm drains are made to carry water at a fast rate, but when you get that much rain, there’s not a system that can handle that,” Spake said.
About five feet of water was standing at the intersection of Pine and Poplar streets, Spake said. Water came up to the chest of a maintenance worker who waded into it to check the drain.
Flooding was also reported at Hill Road, Confederate Road, South Grove Street, Church Street and Flint Street, Spake said.
Clogged drains likely caused by grass that had swept into the street worsened the situation, Spake said.
Residents should keep drains clear when doing yard work, Spake said. Gutters should also be cleaned out to reduce the chance of yard flooding.
Spake also emphasized the danger of driving through standing water. A wrecker truck got stuck in the water at Pine and Poplar.
“During flooding times of the year, drowning is the No. 1 killer, and it’s from people driving through water,” Spake said. “It doesn’t take but about a foot of water to float a vehicle.”
The National Weather Service is calling for a chance of storms Tuesday.
Spake hopes Sunday’s storm will help residents realize the importance of keeping areas like drains and gutters clean, as well as safety precautions they should take during weather events.“(Sunday’s storm) was a very good warm up for the severe weather season, as to what we can kind of expect from these summer-type storms,” Spake said.by Alice Smith

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