Recent rainfall sets two records for Columbia

Friday, April 4, 2014 | 3:43 p.m. CDT; updated 4:55 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 4, 2014
Wednesday and Thursday were record-breaking days for precipitation in Columbia. The precipitation on Wednesday reached 3.99 inches, which was more than twice the previous record.

COLUMBIA — Rainfall totals Wednesday and Thursday broke single-day precipitation records.

Jayson Gosselin, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said back-to-back days of record rainfall is quite rare.

A total of 2.26 inches of rain was recorded at Columbia Regional Airport on Wednesday, breaking the previous record of 1.2 inches in 1996. On Thursday, 3.99 inches of rain fell, crushing the previous record of 1.46 inches in 1913, according to the National Weather Service.

Thursday’s rainfall total is the third highest accumulation Columbia has ever experienced within a 24-hour period. There were 4.27 inches of rain on April 11 and 12, 1994, and 4.5 inches of rain on April 28, 1996.

Heavy rains left Route E and Route ZZ in Columbia closed into Friday morning because of standing water. Route E was reopened around 8:30 a.m., according to Sally Oxenhandler, Missouri Department of Transportation customer relations manager. As of 11:45 a.m., Route ZZ in northwest Columbia was still closed.

Oxenhandler said there is not much they can do to remove floodwaters from roadways, but that they are monitoring the road closely in order to reopen it as soon as it is passable.

No road damage has been reported so far, but the rain may present other problems for roadways.

“This rain is definitely going to escalate our pothole problem this time of year,” Oxenhandler said.

A flood warning remained in effect for Boone County until 1 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Columbia can expect a dry weekend, however. Saturday and Sunday will see temperatures in the high 50s to lower 60s. Sunday night into Monday has a 30 percent chance of rain.

Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.

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