Even though a hurricane may be a dead man walking, it can still cause serious damage. Two days after Hurricane Ida made landfall, the remnants of Hurricane Ida became a tropical depression and unleashed heavy rains that threatened thousands of people along the East Coast.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings in multiple Pennsylvania counties. They warned of flash flooding and severe rain that could continue into Thursday. Some areas may see up to 6 inches (15 cm) of rainfall. A tornado watch is in effect for parts of Pennsylvania and portions of Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. It will last until 10 p.m. on Wednesday. Officials said that the soil already saturated by heavy rainfall over the last few weeks could lead to mudslides or other impacts.
Please, Pennsylvania Governor, if possible, stay home today. On Wednesday, Tom Wolf announced that he had signed an emergency declaration for Pennsylvania. It is best to stay at home and be safe, New Jersey Governor. Phil Murphy also advised residents to avoid the roads.
Nick Carr, NWS meteorologist, told NBC 10 Philadelphia that Ida is feeling stronger after receiving a boost of energy from a low pressure system near the East Coast. He said that it is being re-energized. It was a tropical storm that landed in Louisiana. As it crosses land, it starts to weaken. It is reenergized when it reaches our latitude. It gets re-energized when it reaches our latitude.
The region is already suffering from severe weather. Federal data from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic showed significant flooding at nine river gauges, and moderate flooding at 37 gauges as of Thursday night. The climate crisis is manifested in heavy rains such as those caused by Tropical Depression Ida or the numerous no-name storms that swept the U.S. this summer. Hotter temperatures can lead to more water accumulation, increasing the likelihood of devastating downpours.
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A school bus carrying students from Shaler Township, outside of Pittsburgh, got stuck in floodwaters while they were on their way to school. Officials had to use boats in order to rescue the students who were all safely evacuated from the back of their bus. Annapolis, Maryland was hit by a tornado at 2 p.m., causing extensive damage to schools. Officials in Lower Providence Township near Philadelphia warn that a creek normally 16 inches (16 centimeters deep) could rise to nearly 18 feet (6 meters) by Thursday 12 noon. Water levels are already rising.
Around 3,000 people who lived downstream of a dam were evacuated Wednesday afternoon from an area near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. This is located 56 miles (90 km) east of Pittsburgh. Officials confirmed Wednesday that the Wilmore Dam was not in danger, but that water levels had reached a point where emergency plans require us to order evacuations in areas downstream of the dam. Art Martynuska, Cambria County emergency manager and head 911 center, told NBC 10 Philadelphia.
Martynuska stated that they were also monitoring the Hinckston Run Dam nearby. Both dams were constructed in the early 1900s. They received poor ratings during inspections that took place in September 2020. This is where the 1889 Johnstown Flood took place, killing 2,200 people.