Area under flood watch until tonight

Susquehanna River may reach up to 20 feet Tuesday afternoon

LOCK HAVEN — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a flood watch for the surrounding area until 8 p.m. tonight.

NOAA is also keeping watch over the West Branch of Susquehanna River, with the possibility of its waters cresting at 22 feet on Tuesday afternoon, Meteorologist Michael Colbert said.

Colbert, who is based out of NOAA’s State College office, said this is only a prediction and is all dependent on the amount of rain the area sees today.

“We don’t have a flood warning yet” for a reason, he said. Showers are expected to continue all day and into the night with the chance of precipitation between 100 and 80 percent.

Currently it is estimated Lock Haven and the surrounding areas will see approximately two inches of rainfall throughout today, he said.

The flood watch the area is under is just a precaution to make sure people understand flooding is possible not only along the river but near any creeks, streams or low-lying areas, he said.

A flood warning is the next step taken if it appears the area is at a very high risk of flooding.

As of last night the Susquehanna River measured at 8.6 feet, he said. A far distance from the levels possible Tuesday afternoon.

Although the the chances of the river reaching flood levels isn’t set in stone, Colbert encourages everyone to be cautious.

“Be prepared and watch for warnings,” he said.

Those who live in flood-prone areas, such as homes located near Bald Eagle Creek, should be prepared to move to higher ground or evacuate if necessary, he said.

If the waters reach 20 feet, the city will have to shut down the Jay Street bridge.

This bout of rain is caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon, not Hurricane Florence, which is predicted to reach the Carolinas and Virginia area by the end of this week, Colbert said.

Tropical Storm Gordon was the seventh named storm in 2018 and first reached land on Sept. 3 on the Southwest coast of Florida.

The storm made its way along the coast to Mississippi where it rapidly weakened before breaking apart on Sept. 8.

Meteorologists are currently unsure if Hurricane Florence will make it’s way inland towards Pennsylvania, Colbert said.