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    Jesse Ferrell

    Southwest Pennsylvania Flooding

    By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
    12/20/2008, 4:53:03 PM

    One story that was not mentioned in the media or (I think?) on AccuWeather.com late last week was the potential for flooding in Pennsylvania. A surprising amount of rain (2.5 inches in localized areas) fell in some areas near Johnstown, PA Thursday Night into Friday (some of this was freezing rain at the higher elevations).


    pcp12-20-2008_10-46-11_AM


    Two and a half inches of rain could cause flooding by itself, but significant flooding was caused by the combination of this heavy rain, rapid runoff from icy hills and roads, and snow melt contributed to the flooding (the map below shows between zero and inch of "liquid equivalent" snow cover, which means between a dusting and 10 inches of snow). Local storm chaser Ron "R-Factor" Shawley reported up to 5 inches remaining on the mountain tops before the rain began Thursday night.


    snow12-20-2008_10-47-21_AMs

    Take for example the Conemaugh River (which caused the famous Johnstown floods) at Seward, PA, which peaked over flood stage last night, jumping from a height of 4 to over 12 feet!


    USGS_seward1220


    Fortunately, this next storm is only expected to bring less than a half of an inch of rain, so major flooding will not occur again. Ron has uploaded a number of photos and videos showing the mountain, street, creek and river flooding in the area.


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    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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    Jesse Ferrell