For Already Saturated Area, Storm Could Bring Flash Flooding Quickly
By Saturday night, the National Weather Service predicts the area could see more than 4 inches of rain by Saturday night; some places may see 12 inches of rainfall.
The National Weather Service (NWS) stated that the Philadelphia region is still under a hurricane warning, as well as a tropical storm warning for Chester and Montgomery counties.
As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the center of Irene was an estimated 340 miles south-southwest of Atlantic City, with the storm intensity of 85 mph, the NWS reported.
Hurricane Irene is expected to pass close to the coasts of Delaware and New Jersey late Saturday night into Sunday morning, while possibly bringing damaging winds, torrential rain with local and coastal flooding, the NWS predicts.
With an estimated six to 10 inches of rainfall expected, with a few locations to get more than 12 inches, flooding is highly likely, the NWS warned, saying that the Schuylkill river will have “the potential to react rather quickly” and is “highly susceptible to flooding.”
River and creek levels, as well as ground water, are already very high due to the heavy rains of recent weeks. Before the first drop of rain from Hurricane Irene even falls, August 2011 has been the wettest month in recorded history for the Philadelphia area.
On Saturday evening, tropical storm conditions are expected with hurricane conditions possible in the Marple Newtown area, reports the NWS.
"Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall," said the NWS. More than 4 inches of rain is expected for Saturday night.
Winds will also increase on Saturday evening from 28 to 33 mph to between 39 and 49 mph. But the NWS said winds could gust as high as 60 mph.
Friday Gov. Tom Corbett declared a state of emergency throughout Pennsylvania.