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Pennsylvania on High Alert for Flash Flooding due to Hurricane Ida

State officials urge Pennsylvanians stay home to keep roads clear for ambulances, emergency vehicles

September 01, 2021

Pennsylvania emergency officials warned of significant flash flooding and weather damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ida and urged Pennsylvanians to stay home today.

“We’re under a rare level four out of four high-risk day for flash flooding,” said Jeff Jumper, state meteorologist with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. “So imagine about a month to two months’ worth of rain falling in less than 24 hours.”

Flash flooding, urban flooding, and river flooding were expected into tomorrow, state officials said during a media briefing today. Damaging winds could impact southeastern Pennsylvania into this evening, Jumper said. The heaviest rainfall should subside through the evening hours before a few clear days, but rivers could crest tomorrow, he said.

State officials said portions of the state could see between 4–6 inches of rain, with some areas reaching up to 8 inches locally.

The rainfall during the past few weeks has saturated the ground, leading to a quicker-than-normal rise in small streams and the potential for landslides, said Melissa J. Batula, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s acting executive deputy secretary.

State emergency officials offered the following tips to stay safe during the storm:

  • Turn around, don’t drown:  Do not drive or walk through flood waters. Do not drive around or through emergency barricades
  • Stay home:  Keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and ambulances
  • Be mindful of the storm:  Weather changes quickly. Stay up to date on the weather forecast in your community
  • Report, but stay away:  Call 911 to report flooded roadways, fallen trees and power lines, but do not approach them
  • Have a plan:  If you need to evacuate, have at least two alternative travel routes if you need to move from your residence to higher ground

More information about staying safe during emergency weather situations is available online.

HAP will continue to support hospitals and their emergency management needs during this storm and other emergency situations. For more information, contact Christopher Chamberlain, HAP’s vice president, emergency management, MS, RN, CHEP.