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Deluge quenches area's thirst for much needed rain

Published July 26. 2011 05:01PM

After a days-long stretch of extraordinarily hot, dry weather that turned lawns brittle and brown, the region's thirst was quenched by a deluge Monday.

The storms rumbled through in the afternoon and early evening, bringing some thunder and lightning and dumping 4.83 inches of rain on the Lehighton area as of 8:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The Lake Hauto area, still cleaning up from a severe storm on July 7, got 2.56 inches.

In Tamaqua, weather-spotter Ron Yurchak measured 2.10 inches of rain from the storm.

The downpour brought temperatures down from a humid high 80s on Sunday to a pleasant 72 degrees this morning.

The storm knocked out power to 1,779 PPL customers in Lehigh County. As of 7:30 a.m., all but 30 had their power restored. In Lower Towamensing Township, 195 PPL customers lost power. All had been restored by 7:30 a.m.

The deluge came down so fast and hard that much of it ran off the hard-packed, dry fields and onto roadways.

Flooding forced the closure of Bridge Street, between Third and Fourth streets in Lehighton, and Gypsy Hill Road in Mahoning Township.

"There was a lot of ponding on the roads from runoff. It washed a lot of dirt onto roads, and it took a lot of time for the water to recede," said Carbon County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Nalesnik.

He said he had not been notified of any damages from the storm.

In West Penn Township, firefighters cleaned up a large tree that fell on Lime Kiln Road at about 5 p.m.

The NWS forecast for this week calls for temperatures in the mid-to-upper 80s through Wednesday, then a surge into the 90s on Friday and Saturday.

There's also a chance of thunderstorms late today and tonight and on Thursday night.

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