Friday, September 9, 2011

Rising Waters

I don't know if you all know or not, but here in PA we are experiencing the worst flooding we've seen since 1972 when Hurricane Agnes hit this area. Thankfully I live up on a hill with no streams or creaks near my house so the only flooding we've experienced is a couple inches of water in our basement (which happens every time it rains heavily for several days). We've had rain on and off since Sunday and it's supposed to rain heavily tonight and tomorrow and we'll have scattered storms till Tuesday.

While watching the weather this morning, they were going over how much rain PA has gotten. We got about 10 inches between Tuesday night and Wednesday night, and that's not counting the rain we had today or the rain we're having tonight. Hershey, PA was hit the worst with 13-15 inches. Some places only got 6 inches, however it flooded pretty much everywhere. Even a lot of roads that didn't have streams or creaks or rivers or lakes near them flooded because all the storm grates got backed up and overflowed.

Looking at the pictures of flooding around Central PA is amazing. Places which I've driven on or walked on are completely underwater. Hershey Park, which I've gone to every summer since I was about 4 or 5 years old, is completely flooded, Zoo America flooded. Every school here is closed and was closed yesterday. I was watching the news this morning and residents on the Susquehanna River were expecting water to rise up 6-8 feet in their first floors throughout the day. 

Here are some pictures I got off of various weather websites (none of them are mine) that were all taken either yesterday or today:
We drive on this road all the time, this is normally a very small creak that you barely notice. It's crazy! Photo credit: here

Photo Credit: here
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This is the Pizza Hut in Hershey PA, we've eaten in this Pizza Hut in previous years on our way home from Hershey Park. Photo Credit: here
In Athens PA Photo Credit: here

Photo Credit: here

Photo Credit: here
The main highway leading to Hershey PA got destroyed by rushing water. Photo Credit: here

Again the same road. Photo Credit: here
Downtown Hershey PA...Photo Credit: here

Inside Hershey Park, the Storm Runner and Trail Blazer. Photo Credit: here

Along the Susquehanna River...somewhere Photo Credit: here

Ariel of Athens PA, Athens is in between two rivers and the entire town had to be evacuated. Photo Credit: here

Comparing the flooding from Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and now (leftover from Tropical Storm Lee) Photo Credit: here
I think it's crazy that down in Texas wildfires are starting all over because of their terrible drought, while here we've had WAY to much rain. Most cities and towns around here had broken the record of rainfall in August, then Hurricane Irene came and flooded a lot areas, and now, thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, we've had record rains that we haven't seen in 39 years.

On Wednesday my grandmother had a doctor's appointment in the morning, and when she left around 12pm she couldn't get home (it is normally a 10 min. drive). She tried to get into her neighborhood 6 different ways but couldn't do to flooding. The main highway, 83, was so backed up from them closing big chunks of it, that it took people 3 hours to drive what should take 5-10 minutes. Kids were stranded in schools all day Wednesday, because Wednesday morning nobody had any idea how fast or furious the flooding would happen. My friend's neighbor has 4 feet of water in their basement simply because of all the rain and storm drains backing up. My other friend has a tiny stream in her backyard which is at a pretty good distance from the house, however she said the water was up to her back porch from this once "tiny" little stream.

I'm very thankful that where our house is there is no flooding, especially since there's flooding extremely close to where our house is. Please pray for the millions of PA residents that have had to evacuate due to the flooding and the 4 deaths that have occurred between yesterday and today. Another concern is that the sewer plants were flooded and now we all have to try and preserve flushing, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. Pretty much they're asking everyone to try and avoid letting a lot of water down the drains.

~Mary Kate