Wolf Administration Provides Multi-Agency Update on Response to Flooding

July 25, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf this afternoon provided the following update on state agency activities in response to this week’s heavy rain and flooding throughout Pennsylvania:

National Guard/Department of Military and Veterans Affairs:
The Pennsylvania National Guard has been tasked by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to assist first responders with rescue and transportation missions.

Presently, 73 personnel are on state active duty supporting this event. The troops are maintaining and operating four vehicles capable of fording flooded roads and two Black Hawk UH-60s as well as manning the PEMA CRCC. The UH-60 Black Hawks are part of the PA Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PA-HART), a partnership between the Pennsylvania Army National Guard (PANG), the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), and PEMA, along with credentialed civilian rescue technicians.

The Pennsylvania Guard assisted in a water search operation for a missing woman using the UH-60 Black Hawk in Dauphin county Monday evening. This morning a vehicle and crew rescued a local resident in Dauphin County from their flooded home.

Additional personnel are closely monitoring the situation at the joint emergency operations center at Fort Indiantown Gap and are prepared to dispatch additional personnel and equipment as directed to do so.

As of 3 p.m., a total of 88 roads are closed due to flooding. No major highways are closed at this time.

PennDOT cautions motorists to never drive through flooded roadways, as it takes just two feet of fast-moving water to float a car. 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.

Public Utility Commission:
While no significant issues involving utility systems have been reported, the PUC continues to monitor storm issues and utility responses across the state and will work closely with the governor’s office and the other state agencies involved in Pennsylvania’s coordinated storm response.

The Commission urges residents to remain focused on safety, including reporting outages to their utilities, avoiding downed lines and staying clear of trees, limbs or other objects that may come in contact with power lines.

Pennsylvania State Police:
Impacted stations continue to monitor the situations and report closures, evacuations and other significant weather-related events to the Department Watch Center as they occur. They are also remaining in contact with local emergency management offices.

With heavy rain and the threat of flooding continuing throughout today and into tomorrow for much of eastern Pennsylvania, state agencies are monitoring conditions to respond quickly to keep citizens safe.

The Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC) was fully activated this morning at PEMA with staff from: Pennsylvania State Police; the departments of Military of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection, Human Services, Transportation, and Health; the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, the Fish and Boat Commission, the Game Commission, the Public Utility Commission, the Turnpike Commission, and the American Red Cross.

Additional agencies not covered under the activation were asked to continue to monitor the situation and be prepared to staff the CRCC if the need arises.

Many small creeks and streams have flooded, causing road closures and evacuations in multiple counties, but no major roads are currently closed. While only minor Susquehanna River flooding is expected at this time, anyone with river interests should keep an eye on conditions as forecasts will continue to change.

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.

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