Flooding rainfall to threaten eastern US into the start of the weekend

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 03, 2018, 10:23:02 PM EDT

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More torrential downpours will swamp the Appalachians into Friday night and are forecast to push to the Atlantic coast into Saturday.

Flooding will continue to be a major concern. Expect low-lying and poor drainage flooding to occur first during periods of heavy rainfall.

Portions of central Pennsylvania received 2-5 inches of rain spanning Thursday evening to Friday afternoon alone, which flooded streets and caused small streams to overflow their banks.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jesse Ferrell)

Water levels rise from Spring Creek in State College, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jesse Ferrell)

A dog chained near rising waters of Spring Creek in central Pennsylvania on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jesse Ferrell)

Floodwaters surrounding a sign in Spring Creek Park show show much water levels have risen in this area of State College, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jesse Ferrell)

Water levels rise from Spring Creek into a yard in State College, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jesse Ferrell)

Water levels rise from Spring Creek in State College, Pennsylvania, resulting in some nearby road closures on Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jesse Ferrell)

A road is blocked off due to nearby flooding in State College, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jason Nicholls)

This image shows flooding in Talleyrand Park from Spring Creek in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jason Nicholls)

Floodwaters from Spring Creek rises up to the bottom of the stairs at Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 3, 2018.

(AccuWeather Photo/Jordan Root)

East College Avenue in State College, Pennsylvania, covered in floodwaters on Aug. 3, 2018.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski

Talleyrand Park flooding in Bellefonte, PA.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski

Flooding in Bald Eagle State Park in Howard, Pennsylvania.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski

Flooded road near Sayers Dam in Howard, Pennsylvania.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski

Millbrook Marsh flooding a walking path in State College, Pennsylvania.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski

Axemann Rd, outside of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania is flooded and closed.


"With more heavy rainfall ahead, additional flash flooding along streams and creeks will be likely through the end of the week," warned AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliot.

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Remember to turn around, don't drown.

"Motorists traveling near small streams should pay close attention to water levels and turn around if water covers the roadway ahead," Elliott said.

Flooding is likely to escalate to some of the rivers in the region, especially those with headwaters in the Appalachians.

Stretches of the Susquehanna, Juniata, Potomac, Elk, Kanawha, Shenandoah, French Broad, Allegheny, St. Johns, Santa Fe and Aucilla rivers have been on the rise this week.

Flooding was reported in east-central Alabama on Thursday afternoon causing some roads to become impassable.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, evacuations were ordered for over 100 residences on Thursday night when the College Lake Dam began to overflow and a dam failure was feared.

"Late this week, minor flooding is possible along portions of these rivers and others where there are no levees," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "Major flooding will be restricted to the smaller streams in the region."

Communities that are especially vulnerable to flooding may face evacuation notices as water levels rise.

Download the free AccuWeather app to track storms and stay up to date on the latest local flood watches and warnings.

While rounds of drenching rain and flooding problems escalate over the Appalachians and Piedmont areas into Friday, downpours are forecast to spread eastward during Friday and Friday night.

Static East Rain Friday Night 3 pm


Areas that have not received much rain early this week, such as places near and east of Interstate 95 and a large part of New England, are likely to join in on the Appalachian's frequent, locally heavy rainfall into the start of the weekend.

Since much of the I-95 corridor and the immediate Atlantic coast is highly urbanized, the risk of flash flooding will increase. Motorists may face areas of flooded underpasses and ponding on stretches of highways and city streets.

Despite the risk of flooding, rain is much-needed in New England, where moderate drought conditions have developed.

Intertwined in the likelihood of flooding, some of the strong thunderstorms that develop can have damaging consequences. A couple of brief, spin-up tornadoes cannot be ruled-out.

"Anywhere the sun pops out for a few hours along the Atlantic seaboard, the risk of gusty thunderstorms crashing in will be greatest during the afternoon and evening hours through Friday," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

Following a couple weeks of relentlessly wet weather in the eastern United States, a new weather pattern is finally on the horizon. The drying trend will progress eastward during Friday night and Saturday.

Static Saturday NE


The period from Sunday to Tuesday will be much less stormy, but it may feel like a steam bath.

Communities impacted by road closures and property damage due to the heavy rainfall will be able to begin cleanup efforts this coming weekend.

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