Pennsylvanians reminded to monitor weather, watch for heavy rain and flooding tonight through tomorrow
Governor Tom Wolf is reminding Pennsylvanians to be aware that widespread rain and potential flooding Wednesday could have impacts across much of Pennsylvania.
Rainfall totals of 2 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts are possible between now and Thursday morning from the remnants of Tropical Depression Fred. While rounds of rain will be widespread, some areas may see heavy downpours, which could lead to rapid onset of locally flooded roadways along with small creeks and streams.
“We know that heavy rain events can quickly become hazardous, especially in areas that are prone to flooding,” Gov. Wolf said. “I urge Pennsylvanians to keep an eye on the forecast and local conditions before traveling or recreating.”
Anyone with properties along rivers and other waterways should keep an eye out for rising water levels from Friday morning into the weekend. Major flooding is not expected at this time, but conditions can change quickly.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) will be in contact with county emergency management personnel to monitor any unmet local needs.
Motorists should watch for ponding on roadways and flooding in poor drainage areas while traveling.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) warns motorists not to drive across roads covered with water because even shallow, swiftly flowing water can wash a car from a roadway. Also, the roadbed may not be intact under the water. Never drive around barricades or signs on closed roads – Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
Anyone planning to travel should closely monitor weather conditions along travel routes. Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) encourages boaters to use added caution on and around the water this week and throughout the hurricane season and wear a life jacket. Because of the potential for several inches of heavy rainfall in a short period of time, water levels are expected to rise rapidly on streams, resulting in dangerous conditions for boating.
In addition to areas experiencing severe weather, boaters should be aware that storm impacts can also carry downstream to waterways that did not experience any precipitation. Boaters, especially paddlers in canoes and kayaks, should refrain from entering high, fast-moving, and muddy water that offers low visibility and can prevent operators from seeing submerged obstacles like large rocks, downed tree limbs, and other debris.
Boaters who are considering heading out onto the water should familiarize themselves with the waterway in advance. Map out the trip and create a float plan that includes several places to stop along the way for a break, check the local forecast, and if needed, ride out a passing storm. Heavy winds can make paddling more difficult when trying to get off the water.
For more information on hurricane and tropical storm preparedness, visit www.ready.pa.gov.