- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - September rainfall in western South Dakota broke a century-old Rapid City record, according to the National Weather Service.

About 5.2 inches of rain was recorded by the National Weather Service’s downtown rain gauge during the month, the Rapid City Journal reported. The previous record was about 5.1 inches in September 1913.

The record was broken thanks to a Sunday-through-Tuesday wet spell that dumped more than 4 inches of rain on the city. The rain fell in periodic showers rather than a single burst, which prevented major flooding.

“A lot of it looks like it soaked in and found places to go,” weather service meteorologist Greg Richards said. “If we can keep this moisture in the ground over the winter, it will help the crops out.”

Another benefit of the 2-5 inches of rain throughout the Black Hills in recent days is that it has decreased the fire danger from moderate to low, KEVN-TV reported.

Duration of rainfall plays a bigger role than quantity, according to Forest Service fire management officer Chris Stover.

“Receiving a couple of inches of rain over a 36- to 48-hour period will definitely put a damper on fire danger,” he said.

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