Drainage commissioner Milton Sandy Jr. said he was very surprised to find more than 6 inches of rainfall in the gauge at his office Saturday morning.
“This places it in the record for one of the top 10 24-hour rainfall events in the last 111 years,” he said.
Corinthweather.net, which has a gauge on North Madison Street, recorded 4.97 inches on Friday and 0.95 inches on Saturday, for a total of 5.92 inches for the duration of the event.
That’s more than fell on May 2, 2010, the date of major flooding in the city. That day saw 5.68 inches.
There are notable differences in the scenarios — May 1, 2010, also had significant rainfall, while the Corinth area has recently been experiencing a dry spell.
“People have asked me over the years whether I really believed cleaning out the canals would help prevent flooding,” said Sandy. “We have had relatively few significant rainfall events to test the theory since May 2, 2010, but Friday night was certainly one of them. Not only was it a significant volume but also pretty intense over a relatively short period of time from 8 to 12 Friday night and then until 3 or 4 in the morning. There is no question in my mind that if nothing had been done, we would have had flooding like May 2, 2010.”
Some street flooding occurred during the heavy rains Friday night.
According to Sandy’s records, the biggest 24-hour rainfall total happened on Sept. 27, 2002, with 7.28 inches of rain. The May 2010 flood was ninth on the list.