- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Latest on severe weather in South Carolina (all times local):

4 p.m.

Flooding is being reported across Columbia as heavy rain has been falling across the city for several hours.

Richland County’s network of weather stations reported more than 2 inches of rain fell downtown since the storms first moved into Columbia around 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Several other streets in Columbia and neighboring Lexington County were flooded and closed.

The storm first struck Johnston, about 50 miles to the west. Mayor Terrence Culbreath says about a dozen buildings were damaged by a possible tornado, including one downtown.

He says trees blocked most of the roads in the Edgefield County town.

No injuries have been reported.

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3:30 p.m.

A strong thunderstorm blew down a grain silo and hundreds of trees west of Columbia as it moved across central South Carolina.

The National Weather Service warned the storm had a possible tornado as it moved from Johnston toward Monetta around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

No injuries were reported.

Saluda County Emergency Management Director Josh Morton says the storm heavily damaged a grain silo near Ridge Spring and left a tree on a house. Other trees were blocking highways in the area.

The storm also appeared to hit Johnston, about 10 miles to the west. Calls and emails to town officials were not immediately returned.

The storm also moved through Lexington and Columbia, where heavy rain and hail were the biggest problems.

Forecasters warn more rounds of severe weather are possible later Wednesday.

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12:45 p.m.

Schools have dismissed early across South Carolina’s central region under the threat of severe weather.

The National Weather Service is calling for thunderstorms, high winds, hail and possible tornadoes on Wednesday.

All school districts in the Columbia area dismissed elementary, middle and high school students by midday. The University of South Carolina canceled afternoon classes Wednesday at its main campus in Columbia.

Some schools in the Upstate also dismissed early Wednesday due to weather concerns. The National Weather Service has confirmed four tornadoes touched down in that area during severe weather earlier this week.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Beatty issued a memo Wednesday reminding judicial system employees they don’t have to report to work if county governments in their areas are closed due to weather.

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Information from: The State, https://www.thestate.com

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