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Downpour Brings Flash Floods, Road Closures to State College

by on August 03, 2014 2:04 PM

A summer storm unleashed a sudden torrent of rain on State College on Sunday afternoon, forcing some road closures across the area after a flash flood warning became a reality.

Sgt. Todd Scholton of the State College police department says the area around the 1000 block of East College avenue is often the first to flood. A stretch of road was closed on East College avenue near Damon’s Grill, as was another nearby stretch of Orchard Road between Park Avenue and Puddintown Road.

The rains were starting dissipate by 1:45 p.m., which led Scholton to believe the road would be open again soon. He says closed roads are often closed within half an hour of the rain slowing or stopping. They might have opened College Avenue sooner, but Scholton says they didn't want to "give the road back when we might all have to come out again if the rain doesn't stop."

Scholton says various parts of Spring Creek often flood in Lemont, but that they hadn’t received any calls on the matter.

Ted Gabriel of the Alpha Fire Company helped close a section of North Atherton street between Park Avenue and College Avenue after standing water left a car stranded in the road. After the car was cleared, service was restored to both lanes shortly thereafter.

“We have every available unit out and busy right now,” Gabriel says.

Accuweather meteorologist Andy Mussoline says the worst part of the rains were on their way out of State College by 2 p.m., but that storms were still possible through the evening. During the afternoon’s storm, he says an unofficial amount of about two inches, or possibly higher, fell in the span of a few hours.

“I think it’s going to much quieter for the remainder of the evening,” Mussoline says. “But until about eight or nine tonight, we can’t rule out some more pop-up downpours.”

Shawn Pederson of the Alpha Fire Company says travellers should take care to avoid driving through standing water, as only six inches of water can be enough to pick up a car.


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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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