Power outages, closed roads result from storm in York

Sean Philip Cotter, and David Weissman
York Dispatch
  • 7,000 Met-Ed customers lost power in York County Wednesday night.
  • Susquehanna River expected to reach peak water levels Saturday morning.
  • Woman rescued from sinking car in Warrington Township Thursday morning.
  • Saturday's Polar Bear Plunge still on, York County Special Olympics spokeswoman says.

Using Tina Yost's risk-assessment system, Wednesday night's flooding was bad enough she opted to pile the furniture up on top of each other, but not so bad she had to write on her house.

To clarify: As rain runoff continued to swell the Conewago Creek early Thursday morning after heavy storms tore through the area Wednesday evening, Yost began to get nervous that the encroaching floodwaters were going to become an unwelcome visitor to the first floor of her home, a farmhouse about 100 feet away from the creek.

"I've been up since 3 a.m.," said the 49-year-old Dover Township resident. That's when she got out of bed on the second floor of the home on Detters Mill Road to begin getting everything on the first floor up onto tables.

This was brought on by pouring rains that warranted severe-thunderstorm and flash-flood warnings and a tornado watch in York County Wednesday night, and brought flooding to various parts of the county Thursday morning.

It wouldn't be the first time floodwaters have crept into Yost's home. Her husband likes to draw lines on the south side of the building — the side farthest from the creek — creating a floodwater hall of fame of sorts for that stretch of the Codorus over the several years they've lived there.

About a foot and a half up the wall, there are those lines brought by Hurricane Isaac in August 2012, then an inch higher, those that came with Tropical Storm Lee about 11 months earlier, which in turn are just a little bit below the flood created by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. But all those apparently are dwarfed by the flood Yost experienced Oct. 11, 2013, which ended up several inches above Sandy's total. According to The York Dispatch's archives, that was after unnamed storms pummeled the area for two days, dropping almost 10 inches of rain in just 48 hours.

"So I've had enough of that," said Yost on the topic of flooding in general.

She said she was worried when she saw the forecast Thursday called for some more rain.

"I was like, 'No, no, no,'" she said, rolling her eyes.

Luckily, not much fell, and the floodwaters receded, leaving some large puddles on her land, but not coming inside her home. And next week looks relatively sunny and quite dry, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm did prove problematic for several York County commuters and residents Thursday morning.

John Millar of York Haven took some photos Thursday morning while checking water levels at his uncle's cottages across from the Conewago Creek (background) in Conewago Township. Bowers Bridge Road was close due to flooding. (Bill Kalina - bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

Three separate accidents along Interstate 83 caused major delays in Springettsbury, Newberry and Shrewsbury townships, according to the state Department of Transportation. One woman was rescued from her sinking car on Detters Mill Road in Warrington Township Thursday morning by Wellsville Fire Co.

PennDOT also noted four York County road closures because of either flooding or downed utilities.

Met-Ed spokesman Scott Surgeoner said about 7,000 York County customers lost power due to the storm Wednesday night. About 140 customers were still without power as of 9 p.m. Thursday, according to the Met-Ed website.

Utility crews busy in Pennsylvania, possible tornadoes

The Susquehanna River is expected to reach peak water levels Saturday, according to the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

Power still out around York County, flood advisory sent

At Marietta, across the river from the Wrightsville area, water levels are expected to reach approximately 45 feet Saturday morning. Action stage, which means the right bank of the river will begin to overflow and affect certain roadways, begins at 44 feet.

Flood stage for the river begins at 49 feet, which the river isn't expected to reach.

The water level in the Conewago Creek, the one near Yost, reached more than 15 feet in the Manchester area, up from 6 feet in the days previous, according to NOAA.

The York County Special Olympics 7th Annual Polar Bear Plunge into the Susquehanna River is still scheduled for Saturday morning, March 5, according to spokeswoman Robyn Liggins-Smith.

Liggins-Smith said her organization will continue monitoring weather reports to see if anything changes. The plunge, from the John Wright Building at 124 N. Front St. in Wrightsville, was originally scheduled for Feb. 6 but was postponed due to inclement weather.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com.