Talk about your rain event!
Larry Neff/special to the times news Motorists had a tough time traveling Route 443 in Mahoning Township after heavy rains flooded the busy roadway Tuesday afternoon.
With the arrival of the fall season pressing down, thoughts usually move to the cooler weather ahead and of snow events that loom, such as last year's freakish Halloween surprise.
Instead of the cold and snow yesterday, the area was socked by a tropical-like storm system that dumped a huge amount of rain.
The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J. says eight inches of rain fell in Albrightsville by 3 p.m. Had each inch of rain been 10 inches of snow, Kidder Township residents would have been buried. The heavy rain continued into the early evening.
Lehighton received 5.75 inches of rain, most of which fell between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Beltzville had 5.66 inches of rain, and Tamaqua totaled 2.84 inches.
Yesterday's rain could be considered a link in the chain of phenomenal weather events which have occurred locally in the past year or so.
In July, a major storm left 13,000 area residents without electricity.
On May 26, one of the strongest thunderstorm cells in recent years raked the region, dropping nearly six inches of rain in a two-hour period. Like yesterday, it caused Memorial Day weekend travel problems, roadways to be damaged, and home basements to be flooded.
The May 26 storm came a year after a storm dumped baseball-size hail on the Panther Valley region and did widespread damage to homes, cars, and other property.
Also this summer, heavy straight line winds uprooted trees and did other damage in Parryville borough. Parts of Parryville were without electricity for days from that horrific event.
Even with accompanying winds gusting at more than 40 miles per hour yesterday, the power disruptions were not that severe. In Carbon County, PPL Electric reported 432 customers had power outages. Of the figure, 223 were in Franklin Township, 183 were in Towamensing Township, 22 were in East Penn Township, three were in Parryville, and one was in Penn Forest.
Schuylkill County had 1,464 customers without electricity at one point, most of them in West Mahanoy Township and Branch Township.
The arrival of the front that brought yesterday's heavy rain had the region in a tornado watch mode for most of the day. Thankfully, there were none reported before the watch was lifted.
The major problem was flooded roads.
The Pohopoco Creek overflowed its bank along Route 209 by the Mahoning Valley interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Reportedly at least one car got stuck in the flooded roadway.
Route 895 at German's Road had to be closed when Lizard Creek rose to street level.
Country Club Road in Mahoning Township was closed because of the Mahoning Creek flooding.
West Bertsch Street in Lansford, in the area of the park, was closed for a period because of high water.
Fire police had to briefly shut down Route 902 on the White Bear Hill because drainage facilities couldn't accommodate the runoff and the roadway was flooded.
Firefighters in numerous communities were pressed into service to pump water from basements.
The heavy rain band finally exited by the early evening.
The National Weather Service is calling for fair skies today and tomorrow.