USA – Heavy Rain and Floods Prompt Evacuations in Pennsylvania

Heavy overnight rain has caused flooding in parts of central Pennsylvania, including Lycoming, Sullivan and Centre counties. Officials at Centre County declared a disaster emergency for the county earlier today.

National Weather Service State College Pennsylvania said that some areas saw between 3 and 7 inches of rain and there is likely to be more on the way.

As much as 7.20 inches (182 mm) of rain fell in 24 hours between 20 and 21 October at West Park Forest, and 7.11 inches (180 mm) at SE Unionville during the same period.

The level of Bald Eagle Creek in Milesburg shot up in a matter of a few hours to 9.21 feet, the third highest crest on record. The top 2 crests were with Ivan (12.15ft) in 2004 and Agnes (11.67ft) in 1972, according to NWS State College Pennsylvania.

Bald Eagle Creek. Image: NOAA
Bald Eagle Creek in Milesburg. Image: NOAA

The Centre Daily Times reports that around 100 residents had to be rescued from their homes in Milesburg and Howard during the early hours of 21 October.

A temporary shelter in a local school has been set up by the American Red Cross to house any residents unable to return to their homes.

The National Weather Service has issued flood and flash flood warnings for several locations in central and western Pennsylvania as the rain continues to fall in some areas.

NWS State College Pennsylvania, said:

“The flooding is from the 3 to as much as 7 inches of rain that fell overnight. Flood waters will continue to slowly recede. However additional rain will overspread the warning area by mid to late morning which could cause additional problems.”

A flood warning is in place. NWS said that some locations that could experience flooding include Jersey Shore, Bellefonte, Lock Haven, Williamsport, State College, Montoursville, Mackeyville, Flemington, Dunnstown, Pleasant Gap, Bald Eagle, State Park, Shunk, Trout Run, Kettle, Creek Gorge, Park Forest Village, Ralston, Stormstown, Houserville, Cogan Station And McElhattan.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Over thirty people have died in the USA during the last 2 weeks as a result of severe weather brought by Hurricane Matthew. Many of the victims died in flood water and were in their vehicles at the time.

Ready PA, the Pennsylvania emergency management agency, has stressed the importance of avoiding flood water when in a vehicle.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: October 22, 2016
Event
Pennsylvania, USA, October 2016
Date
October 20 to October 22, 2016
Type
Flash flood, Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Milesburg
B - Howard
C - Mill Hall
D - Park Forest Village
E - Unionville

Magnitude

Rainfall level
182 mm in 24 hours
Park Forest Village - October 20 to October 21, 2016
Rainfall level
180 mm in 24 hours
Unionville - October 20 to October 21, 2016
River level
2.81 metres
Bald Eagle Creek, Milesburg - October 21 to October 21, 2016
9.21 feet / 2.81 metres is the third highest crest on record.

Damages

Fatalities
1 person
Mill Hall - October 21 to October 21, 2016
Fatality was a result of storm damage