A massive ice jam clogged the Susquehanna River for miles through the heart of Wyoming County on Tuesday, keeping riverfront residents and emergency management officials on edge.
The National Weather Service extended a flood warning for central Wyoming County, as well as low-lying areas immediately downriver in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, another 24 hours until tonight at 7:15.
“We’re stable for now, but that could change in the snap of a finger,” Wyoming County EMA director Gene Dziak said. “The unpredictability of this thing is just incredible. You just don’t know what it’s going to do.”
The ice jam formed Monday on the river just south of the area in Tunkhannock Twp. where Route 307 intersects Route 92. By late Tuesday afternoon, broken ice behind the jam was backed up to the Vosburg Neck area of Washington Twp., a distance of 11 miles.
The large storm that blew through overnight – churning up high winds and causing local flooding – is causing major traffic problems early on throughout the Philadelphia regions on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
A string of crashes, one deadly, were reported through the night and into the early morning. Airports have also begun reporting delays and canceling flights due to the weather.
One person was killed in a crash shortly before 5 a.m. on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) at West Girard Ave., severely impacting traffic. It was not clear if weather was the main factor, but flooding was reported on the roadway prior to the crash.
Indeed, the expressway was closed eastbound and westbound at Montgomery Drive because of flooding. Police were being asked to prevent motorists from getting on at the nearby entrance ramps.
Stranded motorists needed rescue from flooded roads this morning, as heavy rains caused havoc around the area, disrupting airport and SEPTA service.
Montgomery County reported about 30 calls to assist motorists from vehicles on flooded roads, with about eight to 10 involving threateningly high water, according to a 911 supervisor. No injuries were reported.
Stranded cars were also reported in Southampton, Bucks County; Gloucester City, Camden County; and Woodbury and Deptford, Gloucester County, according to the Breaking News Network, a tip service.
Part of a roof collapsed at the Virtua Center for Health & Wellness in Washington Township, Gloucester County, spurring evacuation of the building.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
People in Western Pennsylvania braced Wednesday night for a second round of potentially devastating storms following torrents that dropped as much as 3 inches of rain in some parts of the area during the day.
But all of the foreboding and warnings ended up as mostly just that as a string of storms that arrived shortly after the evening rush hour brought with them less rain than was expected.
“It moved through so quickly,” said meteorologist Brad Rehak, of the National Weather Service. “It wasn’t as heavy.”
Rainfall that was expected to end just after midnight should be replaced throughout the next three days with drier, more comfortable weather — aiding in crews’ cleanup efforts.
The logo of the United States National Weather Service. The source page states that is not an “official” version but it looks very close to the version used on NWS’s website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mayor Thomas Leighton has met with City officials and emergency services chiefs and announced the following minimum precautionary measures in the areas of Solomon Creek and Hollenback Golf Course in accordance with the storm predictions from the National Weather Service over the next 36 hours.
• The bridge located at Waller and South Franklin Streets will be closing at 5:00 p.m. today.
• The Barney and Regent Street bridges will remain open while weather conditions are monitored throughout the evening hours.
• Police and Fire Departments will monitor creek levels and flood prone areas throughout the storm.
El Reno Oklahoma Tornado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
OKLAHOMA CITY – Tornadoes rolled in from the prairie and slammed Oklahoma City and its suburbs, trapping people in their vehicles as a storm swept down an interstate highway while commuters tried to beat it home.
Five people were killed, including a mother and baby killed near Union City. Another person died at El Reno, the first city struck by the storm, said Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner. Circumstances involving the other two deaths weren’t immediately known, Elliott said.
About 50 people were hurt, five critically, hospital officials said.
Meteorologists had warned about particularly nasty weather Friday but said the storm’s fury didn’t match that of a deadly twister that struck suburban Moore last week. Violent weather also moved through the St. Louis area, ripping part of the roof off a suburban casino.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As Hurricane Sandy continued to batter the East Coast and mid-Atlantic states, county officials in central Pennsylvania moved Monday to enact emergency disaster declarations ahead of the storm’s expected turn toward the area.
Bedford, Blair, Centre and Huntingdon counties issued emergency disaster declarations, and other Pennsylvania counties are expected to follow suit.
The declarations mean emergency management officials and first responders have greater access to resources necessary for relief efforts without the “red tape” of soliciting bids or other typical government procedures, Bedford County Director of Emergency Services Dave Cubbison said.
“We’re definitely going to have water,” Cubbison said.