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Heavy Rain Triggers Minor Flash Flooding, More Rain in Forecast

by on August 21, 2014 6:00 AM

The skies opened up Wednesday afternoon dumping buckets of rain on State College -- more than an inch fell in just a couple of hours.

"It was pretty much a quick hitter," says AccuWeather Meteorologist John Feerick. "Any given location it probably only lasted maybe a couple of hours. ... It was done by mid-afternoon."

But that quick hitter was more than enough to trigger flash flooding in low-lying areas. You can see some of the worst flooding in the video below:

 

One of the worst areas was along East College Avenue in front of the Your Building Centers store. Storm water quickly overwhelmed the drainage system, flooding the parking lot with several inches of fast-moving water.

YBC employees and customers were pretty much stranded in the store for about 90 minutes until the flood water subsided. John Himes, one of the YBC salespeople says, "It's been doing it for as long as I've been here and it's more water than the drains can handle. It's as simple as that. ... It's never come in the front door," he adds.

One lane of East College Avenue was under water forcing drivers into the left and center lanes.

According to the State College Police Department rising water closed Orchard Road at Puddintown Road for about an hour until the storm drains could catch up. In College Township, parts of Spring Creek Park were also underwater.

PennDot trucks blocked off Fox Hollow Road at Park Avenue because flood water covered the roadway near the I-99 overpass. And the football astroturf at Memorial Field was also covered with water.

"We've had more than usual of these soaking rain events," says Feerick. "That's partially due to the pattern we've had where there's been kind of a trough in the eastern half of the country.

"This time of year the atmosphere holds a whole lot of moisture so anytime you do get a thunderstorm obviously it can drop a whole lot of rain in a short period of time."

And we've gotten our fair share of rain this summer.

According to AccuWeather, the average rainfall up to this point in August is 2.3 inches. Gauges on the Penn State campus have already recorded 4.6 inches of rain -- just about double the average -- and that doesn't include Wednesday's downpour.

That's on top of a July that was extremely wet. AccuWeather says 6.7 inches of rain fell in July, almost double the 3.5 inches that's average for the month.

And the wet weather won't be easing up anytime soon with the potential for more rain already on the horizon.

"I think we're going to see more threats of downpours the next couple of days," says Feerick. "I think the best chance for [Thursday] and Friday will be during the afternoon hours, and then, maybe we'll get a drier push of air coming in from the north over the weekend.

"Hopefully, that is the case. Maybe we'll get a little time to dry out."

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Steve Bauer is Managing Editor & Chief Content Officer at StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy. You can e-mail Steve at Steve.Bauer@StateCollege.com and you can follow him on Twitter @SteveBauerSCcom
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