After a tough day of flooded banks, closed roads and horrific commutes, today promises, if not sunshine, at least some respite. Flooding concerns remain, though.
Here’s this morning’s weather analysis from Tom Thunstrom of Phillyweather.net, NewsWorks’ weather blogger:
We’re starting off Friday on a much different note than we started Thursday — no torrents of rain streaming north through the region although there are pockets of steady and heavy showers locally around to our west and southwest.
The perfect mix of ingredients that brought us heavy rains over the past several days is starting to dissipate as the storm named Lee’s remaining low pressure center nudges ever so slightly to the west over the Ohio Valley. The squeeze between that and the subtropical ridge in the Atlantic is lessening, resulting in improvement locally.
We’re not talking dry and sunny for today by any means. Showers are still in the forecast and some showers could be locally heavy and could cause some issues on local side streets. We also have a plethora of low clouds and, in some spots, fog to deal with this morning.
However, the steadier, heavier rain has shifted south and west of the region today and showers locally should be more scattered.
Locally, expect temperatures to get into the lower 80’s this afternoon as we should see a few glimpses of sunshine from time to time this afternoon.
If we can’t manage any sun at all, we should end up in the upper 70’s for highs this afternoon. It’s not perfect…but it is better than the past few days. We’ll take improvement however we can get it.
Here is our reporting from yesterday:
Update, 3:45 p.m. The Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the Red Cross is keeping some shelters open and setting up more to assist those in flood-prone areas. The SEPA team sent over the most recent list:
William Penn Middle School in Morrisville is already open and will stay open.
Pottstown Senior High School in Pottstown will open at 5 p.m. Pets will be cared for by MCART at this shelter.
Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown will open at a later time tonight.
Eisenhower Middle School in Norristown will open at a later time tonight.
Here’s the real-time list of open Red Cross shelters, which is also accessible with the iPhone Shelter View app.
Update, 3:15 p.m. The Schuylkill is still overtaking Kelly Drive in East Falls. Check out the latest video by NewsWorks contributor Brian Hickey.
Update, 2:40 p.m. The following SEPTA Regional Rail Lines have suspended service through Thursday: Lansdale/Doylestown, West Trenton, Warminster, Manayunk/Norristown, Chestnut Hill West and Cynwyd. Service is expected to resume Friday. Meanwhile, buses and CCT Paratransit vehicles are experiencing detours and delays due to flooding.
Update, 2:30 p.m. Main Street in Manayunk is still blocked off between Shurs Lane and Ridge Avenue. Ridge Avenue is closed from the Gustine Lake Interchange (by Kelly Drive) to East Falls. There are loads of cars turning around at the Wissahickon SEPTA depot station on Ridge Avenue. One of the owners of Dwelling on Main Street says she “hopes to make it home.”
Update, 2:25 p.m. Trenton neighborhoods are being evacuated as the Delaware River rises. In an interview with NBC10, Fire Chief Robert Tharp said dozens of residents had been evacuated by boat, and the Island and Glen Afton neighborhoods were being emptied.
Update, 2:20 p.m. Two men in Honey Brook, Chester County, had to be rescued this afternoon not 15 minutes after an intersection was clear. The West Chester Daily Local has photos of the rescue at Birdell and Beaver Dam roads where two men had to be pulled from the roof of a pickup that got stuck in floodwaters. Two others swam to safety.
Update, 2 p.m. NewsWorks contributor Bernard Scally has been checking out flood damage in Manayunk and Roxborough since late this morning.
As of early afternoon, the Schuylkill had not yet reached the back deck of the Manayunk Brewery on Main Street but workers were seen pumping out water from inside the restaurant.
Scally also reports that River Road in Roxborough is completely submerged and the parking lots, driveway and front porch of Valley Green Inn in Roxborough are under water.
Update, 1:45 p.m. PennDOT has updated its list of road closures in Chester County. As of noon, the following are closed:
Route 926 between Pocopson Road and Creek Road in Pocopson and Pennsbury townships
PA 724 between Unionville Road and Catfish Lane in Union Township (Berks County) and North Coventry Township
PA 724 between Route 422 and Vaughn Road in North Coventry Township
Bethel Church Road between PA 724 and Montgomery County line in East Coventry Township
Pughtown Road between Hollow Road/Sheeder Road and French Creek Road in East Vincent and West Vincent townships.
Foster Road between Green Lane Road and Yellow Springs Road in Charlestown Township
Creek Road between Route 926 and Route 52 in Birmingham Township
Update, 12:20 p.m. NewsWorks’ reporter Tom MacDonald reports Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says the rising Schuylkill River could be worse than it was for Hurricane Irene.
“It’s going to be a tough weather event for us and really just coming of course on the heels of the rainiest month in history,” Mayor Nutter said.
A spokesman for SEPTA says the crews are working to clear water to resume train service.
“We’re still in the evaluation stage, soon, we will have a better picture on the timeline,” Andrew Bush of SEPTA said.
PennDOT says it’s working to clear debris off of roads to reopen highways.
Update, 10:55 a.m. Two small bridges on the Delaware have closed due to flooding and debris: the New Hope-Lambertville (Non-Toll) Bridge and Centre Bridge-Stockton Bridge.
The Eastbound Schuylkill Expressway, from the Blue Route to Girard, is also closed due to a mud slide and flooding. Portions of Main Street, Kelly Drive, Lincoln Drive and Ridge Avenue are closed.
Traffic officials are reporting that the road is buckling on Kelly Drive in the area of the Twin Bridges and there is a mud slide on Ridge Avenue at the I-76 interchange.
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for the Philadelphia area until 11:15 this morning.
SEPTA has suspended regional rail service on Chestnut Hill West, Lansdale/Doylestown, Norristown, Warminster and West Trenton Cynwyd. A number of local buses, including the 61 and 62 lines, have also been detoured.
The floods have also caused some schools to close or open late.
The Schuylkill is expected to crest along Kelly Drive at 12.8 feet at 2 a.m. on Friday. If flooding continues as expected along Kelly Drive, officials say the road will remain closed until at least Friday.
Below, we’ve attached the latest rain totals from phillyweather.net.
What is the flooding like in your neighborhood? Did flooding delay your commute to work? We want to hear from you – share your story in the comments section below.