Governor Wolf, Public Safety Officials Provide Briefing on Tour of Central Pennsylvania Impacted by Heavy Rains and Flooding
July 26, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – At the conclusion of today’s tour of central Pennsylvania areas impacted by heavy rains and flooding, Governor Tom Wolf and public safety cabinet officials provided a briefing at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency on the extent of the impact and next steps for clean-up.
“Touring the state today gave me an up-close look at the intensity of the rain over the past days and how it affected residents,” Gov. Wolf said. “Most importantly, I was able to check on the safety of people in these hard-hit communities and speak with them to learn how the state can help.
“PEMA and local emergency officials have done a tremendous job of helping residents and I thank them for that, but we have a lot of work to do now that the rains have subsided. We are in clean-up mode.”
PEMA reports that the CRCC was deactivated and the focus now is on assessing the cost of damage.
“We are so proud of our first responders who have worked so tirelessly these last few days,” said PEMA Director Rick Flinn. “While we move from response to recovery, people still need to be vigilant to watch for standing water and be careful as they clean up their homes and businesses. Any damages should be reported to their county emergency management office.”
The flash flood event has ended with most creeks that have flooded already crested with levels falling. Several flood warnings are still in effect for central Pennsylvania waterways, including the Swatara, Penns, Yellow Breeches, and Conodoguinet Creeks and the Susquehanna River.
The weather outlook calls for clearer skies with lower humidity, but a few severe storms are possible late today and Friday, so residents are asked to continue to closely monitor the forecast.
As of 3 p.m., a total of 81 roads are closed due to flooding. No major highways are closed at this time.
Even if flooded waters have receded from across roads, PennDOT may opt to keep roads closed if it believes they are damaged. Bridges will be assessed for structural safety, which may take a few days depending on the number involved. PennDOT will continue to provide updates.
Drivers should not attempt to drive through flooded areas or bypass barricades set up around flooded areas. Anyone who drives around barriers intended to close a road can face increased penalties if emergency responders are called to rescue motorists who disregard traffic control signs.
Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles including road closures by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Public Utility Commission:
Utilities continue to monitor areas where service was interrupted because of flooding and will inspect those locations as flood water recede and assess when it is safe to restore service.
Homeowners and businesses should work with licensed electricians regarding repairs to customer-owned lines and appliances and should not attempt to plug in or turn on any water-damaged device until they have been inspected and determined to be safe.
Pennsylvania State Police:
Impacted stations continue to monitor the situations and remain in contact with local emergency management offices. Drivers should not attempt to cross flooded roads. As roadway closures dictate traffic patterns, give yourself extra time to get to your destination and expect delays due to roadway closures and limit unnecessary travel.
Persons who drive past road closure barriers can be cited for a summary offense and could be made to pay a fine of up to $250. And if an emergency response is necessary, the fine increases up to as much as $500. Additionally, the person could be held responsible for the emergency response costs.
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to follow ReadyPA on Twitter @ReadyPA and Facebook for the latest on the weather and how to prepare, and motorists can check road conditions on over 40,000 miles of roadway at 511PA.com.