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2008 is Columbia's second wettest

Saturday, January 3, 2009 | 4:43 p.m. CST; updated 8:57 p.m. CST, Saturday, January 3, 2009

COLUMBIA — Columbia's high rainfall made 2008 a busy year for Randy Gibbs of Gibbs Co., which offers foundation and concrete repair as well as building water-proofing. His company treated considerably more homes for water damage than in a typical year.

“Half of the structures we did repairs on had never leaked before,” Gibbs said.

Records set in Columbia for 2008

On Jan. 6, a high temperature of 72 degrees tied the record set in 1907.

On Jan. 8, a maximum rainfall of 1.04 inches broke the previous record of .80 inches set in 1937.

On Jan. 29, a high temperature of 64 degrees tied the record set in 1988.

On Feb. 5, a maximum rainfall of 1.22 inches broke the record of .71 inches set in 1942.

On Feb. 17, a maximum rainfall of 1.11 inches broke the record of .79 inches set in 2000.

On March 17, a maximum rainfall of 1.19 inches broke the record of 1.01 inches set in 1991.

On April 29, a low temperature of 32 degrees broke the record of 34 degrees set in 1976.

On July 22, a maximum rainfall of 3.23 inches broke the record of 1.11 inches set in 1993.

On July 28, a maximum rainfall of 1.52 inches broke the record of 1.47 inches set in 1907.

On Sept. 4, a maximum rainfall of 2.31 inches broke the record of 2.29 inches set in 1910.

On Sept. 14, a maximum rainfall of 1.99 inches broke the record of 1.75 inches set in 1912.



Columbia experienced its second highest year of rainfall in 2008 with 56.78 inches, according to the National Weather Service. It was Missouri's wettest year ever.

Since record keeping began in 1889, the only year that has recorded more rainfall  was 1993, when 62.49 inches fell and contributed to major flooding along the Missouri River. 2008 was 7.12 inches of rainfall away from first place.

September contributed to the second-place ranking with the fourth highest rainfall on record with 10.77 inches, which was largely because of rains from hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

July was the third wettest since 1889 with 10.52 inches.

Rainfall for the year reached third place in the record books by mid-December with 55.11 inches.

Gibbs emphasized that though the immediate effect of the excessive rainfall was water penetration, a dry 2009 could cause problems of its own. With a high volume of precipitation in 2008, saturated soil underneath structures could ultimately cause settling.

“If 2009 is dry, the soil will shrink and cause severe structural problems because we're going from two extremes,” Gibbs said. “Homeowners will have to watch for house movement.”


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