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Pennsylvanians Urged to Monitor Weather, Prepare for Heavy Rain and Possible Flooding

April 15, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – With the threat of heavy rain expected to impact much of the commonwealth overnight tonight, Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are reminding citizens to monitor weather conditions and prepare for possible flooding.

“The best way to approach impending adverse weather is by being prepared and accessing accurate information from experts,” Governor Wolf said. “PEMA, county emergency personnel and law enforcement are the state’s experts and their warnings should be heeded.”

PEMA advises people to have multiple ways to get severe weather alerts, such as a NOAA weather radio or cell phone alerts. Local media outlets are also a good source of local weather information and conditions.

“Parts of the state could see as much as three inches of rain by the time this system ends,” said PEMA Director Richard D. Flinn, Jr. “We’re not expecting significant river flooding, but people need to be mindful of the possibility of small creek and stream flooding, and in urban or poor drainage areas where flooding is common.”

PEMA notes that it’s important for people to understand the difference between a watch and a warning because they represent different levels of action to be taken.

  • A flood or flash flood watch means that conditions are favorable for flooding to occur. Residents should stay alert and watch for rapidly rising waters, including rivers and streams, and be prepared to move to high ground quickly.
  • A flood or flash flood warning means that there is actual flooding, or flooding is imminent. Residents should act at once and move to high ground.

Always follow the guidance of local emergency personnel or law enforcement if you are told to evacuate. Be familiar with multiple ways to evacuate places where you spend a lot of time, such as your home and work location.

Motorists should be prepared for travel delays or road closures due to heavy rain and possible flooding. Motorists who drive around or through signs or traffic control devices closing a road or highway due to hazardous conditions could face increased fines, particularly if the violation requires emergency responders to be called. While water on a flooded road might not look deep, the road could actually be washed away under the water, or the road could be compromised in a way that could make it unsafe to travel.

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