Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Deja vu all over again...

Every conscious person living along a stream or river in our region, especially in the piedmont and mountain regions has to be thinking 'Oh no, not again!'

No one knows what is in store, that's for sure. But the circumstances surrounding Ernesto are similar to conditions that led up to the last flood. Significant rainfall followed by heavy rainfall. The situation right now is not nearly as perilous as last June, when the river was already running quite high and reservoirs were full.

Over the past few days some areas have had soaking rains, but most of these are lower lower basin watersheds (Chester, Montgomery, Camden, Gloucester). Upper Delaware tribs were moderately high and are already starting to go down. NOW IS THE TIME TO BEGIN LOWERING RESERVOIRS!

The Delaware River at Calicoon is going back down, but the river at Riegelsville is still coming up, althoug I think that gauge should top off at 6.0' sometime tonight (flood stage is 22'). I believe we will need all of 8 inches of rain to get the Delaware River out of its banks again. Tributaries are much more vulnerable.

AccuWeather is predicting that Ernesto will dump "more than 6 inches" of rain as it slowly moves from North Carolina up through Pennsylvania.

Wunderground predicts 4 to 8 inches.

The National Weather Service in Mt. Holly says the storm is more likely to aim for South Central PA, which would still produce heavy rain here; they are holding off on numerical predictions. But NWS holds out some hope for the other model that has Ernesto spinning to the east and off the coast, a scenario that would only produce moderate precipitation here.

The picture will become more clear late tomorrow once it is know just where Ernesto make its second landfall (Outer Banks again?), something that is relatively rare. Katrina made two landfalls!

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