Despite overwhelming tributaries leading to the Susquehanna River, former hurricane Sandy isn't expected to cause severe flooding in Wrightsville or other eastern York towns along the river.
As of 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, after the worst of the storm had passed through the area, the river level near Wrightsville was 39.8 feet and rising, said Craig Evanego, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.
While that's up nearly 5 feet from its level Monday afternoon, the river was about 2 feet below its normal level of 37.5 feet when the storm started.
The initial wave of rain from Sandy pushed the river up to normal levels after drier than normal weather over the past several weeks, he said, and additional rains aren't expected to swell it to flood levels before receding.
Crest: Flood level of the Susquehanna is 49 feet. The river was, on Tuesday morning, expected to crest at a lower height than projected a day earlier. When the storm started hitting the area, forecasters expected it to reach 47 feet.
But Evanego said the River Forecast Center is predicting the Susquehanna will reach its highest point at about 44.5 feet Friday morning.
"It won't really be a crest, just a flattening out," he said. "A crest is a rise and a fall, but what's happening here is it crests over 44 feet Thursday morning but goes up again...because of input from different tributaries."
During Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011, the river crested at 58.16 feet and caused flooding up and down the county's eastern boundary. But that paled in comparison to Hurricane Agnes' 64-foot swell in 1972.
So while the soggy memory of Tropical Storm Lee is still in the minds of the residents and officials who had to contend with it, it's unlikely they'll suffer the same damage this time around, Tyburski said.
Residents: At Sue's Market on Hellam Street, Wrightsville's main drag, owner Sue Myers said people are still concerned "because they know what happened last time."
Pictures of flooding in Ocean City, Md., have fueled fears of the rising Susquehanna, she said, and people have swamped her store to stock up on essentials.
But she said she's hopeful people won't have to "pack up and move out" of their riverfront homes as they did last year.
Wrightsville was the first municipality in York to declare a disaster emergency related to Sandy. Mayor Neil Habecker signed the document Saturday, before Sandy began to move into the area, to direct the borough's emergency management and other officials to do whatever is necessary to mitigate the storm's damage.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.