‘Popcorn showers’ hit area

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 16, 2010

“Popcorn showers” are what emergency management officials call Thursday’s lunchtime rainstorm that sent Covington County residents scurrying for umbrellas.

County EMA director Susan Carpenter said the rains started around noon and lasted for nearly an hour.

“The good news was that it was a single cell and it moved out rather quickly,” she said. “It’s just that time of the year (when afternoon thunderstorms) pop up. They’re called ‘popcorn showers.’”

While no major damage was reported, the rains did cause three nearly simultaneous minor traffic accidents.

The first, which occurred shortly before 1 p.m., was a two-vehicle accident on River Falls’ Sunnyside Street; the second was on U.S. Hwy. 84 near the Gitty-Up-N-Go gas station; and the third occurred on River Falls Street when a car hydroplaned.