Record-Breaking Rainfall Pounds Oklahoma City


Monday, September 10th 2007, 2:55 pm
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Heavy rainfall pounded south Oklahoma City early Monday, causing flash flooding and shattering an 82-year-old daily rainfall record in less than one hour.

By 8:30 a.m. Monday, 6.28 inches of rain had fallen at Will Rogers World Airport since midnight, including 2.73 inches between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. The previous record for rainfall in a 24-hour period at the site was 2.4 inches in 1925.

``The record was actually broken in less than one hour,'' said weather service meteorologist Ty Judd. ``There was a real heavy rain across the south and southwest part of the city. From Mustang over to Tinker, there was a good swath of 2 to 4 inches since midnight.''

No injuries or major damage were reported. Some roads were shut down temporarily because of high water that trapped motorists, but all roads were back open by 9 a.m., said Mike Degiacomo, superintendent of street maintenance.

``You pour that much water into the storm sewer system ... it's just not constructed to handle that much volume at one time, but it appears to have caught up,'' Degiacomo said.

Oklahoma has had an unusually wet summer, with heavy rains that resulted in major flooding in dozens of counties in recent months. For the year, 50.55 inches of rainfall has fallen in Oklahoma City so far, less than 1 1/2 inches from the all-time record of 52.03 set in 1908, the weather service reported.

Monday morning's rainfall was caused by a weak front draped from northeast Oklahoma down to southwest sections of the state.

``The showers are developing along this weak front, which is moving slowly to the east and southeast,'' Judd said.

A stronger front later Monday was expected to push into Oklahoma, bringing an additional chance for rain in central portions of the state, with a chance for some heavy rainfall.