Flooding hits area
Larry Neff/special to the TIMES NEWS A PennDOT worker tries to open a drain along Route 248 in Parryville where heavy rainfall too much for the drains to handle caused some temporary flooding. The highway was closed for nearly an hour because of the high water.
Some heavy rain finally arrived in the area, bringing much-needed relief to drought conditions. But it also caused some serious headaches.
According to weather observers, more than two inches of rain fell in the Lehighton area this morning. The rainfall was accompanied by thunder and lightning.
One of the biggest problems from the rain occurred on Route 248 in Parryville where the westbound lane was closed due to flooding for nearly an hour.
The Parryville and Bowmanstown fire companies were dispatched to assist not only with traffic control, but also rescuing several motorists whose vehicles became stuck in the eight-inch deep water.
According to rainfall totals recorded by the U.S. Geological Service, 2.45 inches of rain fell in Lehighton, 2.17 inches fell in the Pohopoco Creek near Beltzville Lake, and 1.48 inches of rain in Walnutport.
Mark Nalesnik, Carbon County's Emergency Management Agency director, said 1.3 inches fell in Nesquehoning.
The rain comes just days after several communities, including Bowmanstown, announced bans on outdoor burning because of the drought.
Slatington and Walnutport both had restrictions on non-essential water use because of low reservoir levels.
The Pa. Drought Task Force has a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, to discuss current rainfall conditions in the state. So far the state has not declared a drought watch.
The Pa. Department of Environmental Protection said the largest rainfall shortages in the state are in the central and northeast regions.
Ronald J. Young Jr., public information officer for District 5-0 of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), said despite the heavy rain, the only problem reported to PennDOT was the Route 248 situation. He said it was reported closed at 6:15 a.m. and reopened by 7:10.
The flooding was so severe that traffic had to be detoured through Parryville.
Nalesnik said he wasn't advised of any problems in the county caused by the heavy rain this morning.
For the Lehigh Valley, the rain wasn't as heavy as what fell last weekend.
The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J. said a record rainfall of a whopping 5.67 inches fell on Saturday, breaking the old record for the date of 2.6 inches set in 1931.
That was the fourth highest daily maximum of all time. The highest daily maximum rainfall in Allentown ever was 8.71 inches recorded on Oct. 8, 2005.
There's a chance for showers today until 2 p.m., then clearing will occur. Sunshine is forecast for Thursday and Friday, with the possibility of showers again Friday night.