York County saturated after 9 inches of rain
Rain is expected to subside for a few days, but York County is still feeling the effects of the extended rainfall since the weekend.
Charles Ross, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, and Brett Rossio, meteorologist for AccuWeather, said Wednesday morning that just under 9 inches of rain had been recorded for York County since the weekend.
“That’s a lot of rain for five or six days — that’s why it’s flooding so much,” Ross said.
Ross said officials were still figuring out exact totals, but this month will likely be the wettest July for the area, mainly because of the rain from the past few days. July, typically a drier month, averages just under 4 inches of rain, according to Ross.
Rossio said York is at 308 percent of an average rainfall for July.
"I'd imagine it's in the top three with regard to rainfall for the month of July (in York)," he said.
Flooding effects: Wednesday morning, Ross said that officials were still trying to get the numbers all sorted out, but he said early estimates have the total rainfall since Saturday, July 21, at nearly 9 inches of rain.
"That's a really high total," he said, adding that areas in the region are seeing the same general numbers.
As of Wednesday morning, he said the Harrisburg area had recorded more than 10 inches of rain since the weekend.
Fritzi Schreffler, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said about 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 25, that nearly 60 state roads were closed in the south central region because of flooding.
Thirteen of those roads are in York County, she said.
The flooding has been so bad that crews from counties hit hardest —York, Lancaster, Lebanon and Dauphin — had to borrow things such as cones, signs and electronic message boards from other counties, according to Shreffler.
She said crews were borrowing from Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and Perry counties, which were not hit as hard by flooding.
York County spokesman Mark Walters said York County 911 received 95 calls related to road conditions for flooding or evacuations from flooding between Sunday, July 22, and Wednesday.
Fairview Township Fire Chief Chris Weidenhammer said crews helped remove three people from two different mobile home parks near Lewisberry and Old York roads on Monday night.
“That area historically floods during heavy rains, and obviously this was no exception,” he said.
Additionally, fire officials helped remove two vehicles from flooded roadways. Three people were pulled from vehicles.
"We were basically chasing flooded roadways, downed trees, all night long," he said.
On Wednesday morning Weidenhammer said officials were keeping an eye on the creeks nearby.
"We could have some additional issues with (flooding)," he said.
Susquehanna River: Liz Winand, co-owner of Shank's Mare, which is located on the banks of Susquehanna River in Lower Windsor Township, said classes on the river were canceled because of how fast the river is flowing from the rainfall.
Safe Harbor Water Power Corp. tracked the river flowing at 243,000 cubic feet per second, and it estimated the river will reach the upper 300,000s over the next few days.
“Nobody should be on the water in those conditions," Winand said.
She said the normal flow rate is about 15,000 cubic feet per second. Winand noted the outdoor store won't let people rent kayaks from them if the flow rate is over 70,000 cubic feet per second.
For now, classes and programs have been canceled through Sunday, July 29.
“It’s not safe — it is absolutely not safe,” she said.
Winand noted that the area north of the shop received a lot of rain, which all has to come down.
“It’s not just what you get in your immediate area," she said.
Looking ahead: Both meteorologists said York County should get a reprieve from the rain, albeit brief.
"(Wednesday's) probably the last day of it, though, for a few days at least," Ross said.
Ross said Thursday, July 24, is expected to be dry, and there could potentially be some thunderstorms the afternoon of Friday, July 25.
Rossio said temperatures are expected to rise Thursday and Friday.
‘It’s going to feel really muggy the next couple of days,” he said.
But rainfall is forecast to hit York County again come next week.
"We can’t let our guard down," Ross said.
Forecasters are expecting rain for Monday, July 30, and Tuesday, July 31, but they are not yet sure how much rain York County could see.
He said forecasters aren't expecting the rain to top this week.
“It’s going to be hard to top this week,” he said.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.