Recent rain puts Lake Wylie close to flooding point. That’s also happening at other lakes

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Prolonged rain is filling and in one case spilling lakes, with Lake Wylie inching toward full pond.

By 9 a.m. Thursday, Lake Wylie rose to within a foot of its spilling point. Lake Wateree downstream already surpassed that point, known as full pond, by half a foot. Lakes James and Hickory upstream, along with Fishing Creek and Cedar Creek lakes downstream, also registered within a foot of full pond.

Other lakes including Norman and Mountain Island Lake, the largest and nearest to the north on the Catawba River chain, respectively, were approaching the same condition.

The National Weather Service shows steady rain has fallen through parts of York, Lancaster and Chester counties all week, with it picking up Thursday. The group forecasts more rain for Thursday before clearing Friday.

Lake Wylie rose to within inches of its full pond Tuesday, and again Wednesday. The target for the lake is three feet below full pond.

Duke Energy, the company managing the Catawba chain lakes, hasn’t issued a warning specific to Lake Wylie. Duke did release one for Wateree, noting “significant streamflow from the recent rainfall.”

“The Duke Energy hydro operations team continues to move water through the river system with spillway gates open at Fishing Creek and Cedar Creek hydro stations,” it reads.

Downstream lakes aren’t the only ones with warnings. Upstream lakes have them issued, too.

“At this time, we do not anticipate spilling in the Upper Catawba; however, additional rainfall presents a risk of spilling,” reads the notice for James and others. “As always, we encourage residents living along lakes, streams, and other lower lying and flood-prone areas to pay special attention to changing weather conditions and take any necessary precautions.”

Duke typically is able to predict flooding well before it happens. Lake Wylie can flood, but has several reasons it isn’t as likely as other lakes are. Wylie and James are two of the larger lakes on the chain. They can hold more water to prevent flooding downstream, or run more to prevent it upstream.

The lack of a lake message for Wylie is an indicator it isn’t likely to flood soon, even if it again approaches full pond.

Along with lakes level changes, rain is causing issues like wrecks.

Several crashes were reported Thursday morning on roads in York, Chester and Lancaster counties. I- 77 northbound near Exit 88 was partially blocked around 8:30 a.m. after a crash, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol website. Troopers were also assisting a driver on I-77 northbound about a mile south of the crash site, officers said. No injuries were reported.

Other crashes in York County were reported on Billy Wilson Road near York, and Sutton Road east of Fort Mill, troopers said. Police also responded to incidents on Armenia Road in Chester County and Eastway Drive at Pageland Highway in Lancaster County, officers said.

Just past midnight in Rock Hill, there was a fatal wreck on West Main Street near Watson Street. Details from police aren’t available yet to know what role, if any, the weather may have had.

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On Wednesday, emergency officials warned people to stay off the Catawba River and away from sites from kayak launches in Rock Hill to the dam near Tega Cay. Rising water levels and fast-moving water from recent rains were the reason given.

John Marks:; @JohnFMTimes