Venango County May See Residual Rain in Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

| September 15, 2018

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – Meteorologists say western Pennsylvania might see some residual rain from Hurricane Florence early next week.

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina early Friday with howling 90 mph winds reported and dangerous storm surge. The massive, 400-mile-wide hurricane unloaded torrential rain, flattened trees, tore up roads, and knocked out power to over half a million homes and businesses in the affected area.

The first fatalities of the storm were reported by the Wilmington Police Department in North Carolina. According to their official Twitter account, a mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house. The father was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with injuries.

As the storm slows to a crawl over North Carolina, forecasters are warning it could cause damage similar to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey last year, with floodwaters filling homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds, while also increasing the risk of mudslides in some areas.

For those who reside further inland in the Carolinas, the danger of flash flooding could arrive days later, after the rainwater has had time to drain into rivers and for streams to crest.

An estimate 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed with a range of high-water vehicles, helicopters, and boats to assist in possible flood rescues, and over 120 shelters have been opened up for evacuees.

An estimated 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it remains unclear how many did.

Though meteorologists previously predicted the storm would head further inland to the west, they now believe the storm will swing to the north, heading up through the western Carolinas and eastern Tennessee.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm had sustained winds of 75 mph and was moving west at 5 mph as of Friday afternoon. The National Hurricane Center said the storm will eventually turn to the northeast over the southern end of the Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states as a tropical depression early next week.

Locally, forecasters are expecting some rain early next week from the tropical depression that will remain after Hurricane Florence drops in intensity.

The weekend’s forecast in Western Pennsylvania calls for mostly sunny weather Saturday and Sunday with high humidity and temperatures topping out around 80 degrees both days.

The extended forecast shows a 90% chance of rain on Monday with temperatures in the lower 70s and a 20% chance of showers with temperatures in the upper 70s on Tuesday. The weather is expected to clear up by Wednesday, with sunny and partly sunny days and temperatures in the mid-70s the remainder of next week.

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