Archive for September, 2010

We’re on standby.

The Nockamixon Township EMA is currently on standby status. We’re monitoring weather, road and waterway conditions as two major storms converge over our area. We expect them to deteriorate as the day goes on, bringing flooding, high winds and the possibility of severe weather, including isolated tornadoes. We urge all businesses and residents to pay attention to changing conditions and to take action to ensure their safety accordingly. We encourage you to monitor our Weather Conditions page and to use the tools there.

We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed. Unfortunately, due to the construction on the Riegelsville Bridge, we are without a functional river gauge at this time, where we usually take our readings. It will remain out of service for the duration of this event, leaving us at something of a disadvantage. We are currently working to extrapolate historical data from the next river reading station to our north, which is at Easton. This will give us at least some idea of what to expect on the river locally. When we have this data, we will share it with you.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch and High Wind Advisory for our area. The current flood watch is in effect until 4 PM Friday afternoon. The significant rain event that has begun across our area is forecast to create flash flooding on streams and creeks, and over the duration of the event, probable moderate flooding on the Delaware River.

By noon on Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Brodhead and Bushkill Creeks north of us were already reaching flood stage, and parts of the Schuykill River to our south were already flooding. We remind you that the rain that falls right here is a concern to us for flash flooding on tributaries, but it’s what falls to our north that causes major river flooding.

At the time of this posting, the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center (MARFC) shows our entire region in a swath of rain expected to amount to 7 inches by Saturday morning. This is an average of what NOAA says could range from 6-10 inches locally. At this time, MARFC’s Significant River Flood Outlook has much of our state and all of the Delaware River Watershed in an area designated as “possible” significant flooding, which means water coming out of its banks.

The hydrometeorological discussion at Penn State University looked like this just before 10 AM today:

ON AREA RIVERS AND CREEKS, WIDESPREAD MINOR FLOODING IS EXPECTED
THROUGHOUT THE SUSQUEHANNA AND DELAWARE BASINS, THE LOWER POTOMAC,
LOWER JAMES AND APPOMATTOX BASINS. MODERATE FLOODING MAY OCCUR ON SOME
SMALLER RIVERS AND TRIBUTARIES THROUGHOUT THE SERVICE AREA. MAJOR
FLOODING IS POSSIBLE IN THE SWATARA CREEK, THE CONESTOGA RIVER AND THE
MONOCACY RIVER WHERE STORM TOTALS OF 7.00 TO 10.00 INCHES ARE EXPECTED.

RIVER FORECASTS ARE BEING PREPARED AND WILL BE ISSUED AS SOON AS
POSSIBLE.

On top of the flooding potential, a wind advisory is in effect until 8 pm this evening.

Low pressure will track northward up the Mid-Atlantic region this afternoon. As the low moves northward, strong winds associated with the low will move into our area. They’ve already been picking up all morning. Strong winds just above the surface are expected to mix down to the ground, especially in any heavier rain or thunderstorms. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph are expected to occur through the afternoon. As the system makes its way northward, winds will start to decrease early tonight.

The strong wind gusts may take down tree limbs and utility wires. Trees may come because their roots no longer hold them in the saturated ground. For these reasons, scattered power outages are possible. Also, these conditions—along with leaves still remaining on the trees—may cause damage to occur with below advisory-level winds.

A wind advisory means that winds up to 35 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. There is the added danger of autumn’s usual fallen leaves—which will be coming down unusually heavily under these winds—coating wet roads, making them uncommonly slippery. Please use extra caution when driving, and watch adjacent vehicular traffic if you must walk or bike along roadways—it’s easy for drivers to lose control under these conditions, and pedestrians don’t have the protection of a vehicle surrounding them.

Please remain vigilant regarding your immediate weather conditions, limit travel to necessary trips if possible, and stay tuned to your local news and weather outlets for further information. We will be updating this site as necessary.