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Despite some confusion over faulty gauge readings, it appears Florence did drop a record amount of rain in the 24 hours ending Friday night.
The once-major hurricane was downgraded from a Category 1 to a tropical storm as of the 5 p.m. National Hurricane Center update, but the storm continues to raise flooding concerns as it moved into eastern South Carolina, moving west at 5 mph.
A U.S. Geological Survey rain gauge on 9:06 a.m. Friday showed Atlantic Beach had received 31.37 inches of rainfall over the past 24 hours. That would have easily surpassed North Carolina’s 24-hour rainfall record of 22 inches, recorded in Mitchell County in 1916, but local meteorologists expressed doubts about the reading, according to The News & Observer.
Later on Friday, USGS online rainfall data confirmed suspicions – indicating an equipment failure for the Atlantic Beach rain gauge.
As of 9:06 p.m. on Friday, however, the gauge at Emerald Isle showed a 24-hour rainfall total of 27.7 inches with no mention of faulty equipment, which would be a state record.
The following are USGS 24-hour rainfall inch totals recorded from 10-11 p.m. Friday at gauges in the path of Florence:
▪ Durham: 1.69
▪ Emerald Isle: 26.32
▪ Greenville: 5.11
▪ Jacksonville: 12.81
▪ Kelly: 6.57
▪ New Bern: 15.95
▪ Raleigh: 1.65
▪ Rocky Mount: 2.36
▪ Surf City: 17:.57
▪ Wilmington: 18.81
▪ Wrightsville Beach: 20.46
▪ Conway (Myrtle Beach area): 6.49
▪ Conway (Crabtree Swamp): 5.38
▪ Effingham: 1.05
▪ Galivants Ferry: 2.06
▪ Kingstree: 1.03
▪ Longs: 5.91