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Area flash floods threaten boroughs, weather to clear

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette A swollen Muncy Creek flows under Route 118, Water Street, in Hughesville on Monday afternoon

Heavy rains caused flash floods, road closures and flooded basements throughout the region Monday.

The intense rainfall is expected to ease somewhat today. As of Monday afternoon, between 5 to 7 inches fell in the Williamsport region, according to Michael Colbert, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

The rainfall led to numerous calls for emergency help from area residents, according to John Yingling, director of the Lycoming County Department of Public Safety.

From an emergency operations center set up Monday, Yingling said officials were monitoring a situation as about 25 properties in Glen Mawr, along Route 220 and Muncy Creek, were asked to “shelter in place.”

“The residents were not in peril,” Yingling said. It was better to instruct them to stay in their homes than have them leave and drive through water on the roadways, he said.

“If you see water today, turn around and don’t drown,” he said.

In Watsontown, fire officials with the Warrior Run Area Fire Department and the American Red Cross were helping those flooded out of their homes in upper Northumberland County. The office is at 1125 Main St., a department spokesman said.

Isolated incidents of basements and homes needing to be pumped out with help from firefighters were reported by the county 911 Center. Firefighters in the Hughesville and Lairdsville areas assisted a resident in Moreland Township, east of Hughesville, with a flooded basement.

The flooding occurred in areas of Forksville, Sullivan County, leading to officials calling for voluntary evacuation of the residents in the community living along the Loyalsock Creek.

A portion of the borough of Picture Rocks was evacuated as Muncy Creek overflowed, according borough officials.

Along Water Street, some homes were evacuated as water spilled over along the rocks and came into the street and the Center Street bridge to the Boston Cove area east of the borough was closed for a time because of overflow, eyewitnesses with the borough said.

The evacuees were assisted by Picture Rocks volunteer at the fire hall and social hall. The water receded but had it gotten worse, the officials were prepared to use Ferrell Elementary School as another site, a firefighter told the Sun-Gazette.

In the city of Williamsport, Grafius Run was staying within its banks, and there were no reports of major basement floodings, according to Adam Winder, general manager of the city streets and parks department.

Flash flood warnings and watches are expected to end as of early today, Colbert said.

The rainfall amounts differed depending on the region. In Hughesville, the area received 2.2 inches as of 6 p.m., with some additional showers occurring in the evening hours and late morning hours.

Montgomery received a little closer to 3 inches of rain as of 6:30 p.m., according to the weather service, while the borough of Tremont in Schuylkill County was hammered with 6 inches.

Over the past 24 hours, the region received 3 to 7 inches of measurable rain, according to Colbert.

Motorists should take note of the following roads closed due to flooding:

• Route 220 between Route 405 in Wolf Township and Route 87 in Cherry Township, Sullivan County;

• Route 442 between Township Alley in Muncy Creek Township and Moreland Baptist Road in Moreland Township;

• Chippewa Road between Route 405 in Muncy Creek Township and Beacon Light Road in Muncy Township;

• Chippewa Road between Route 405 and East Lime Bluff Road in Muncy Creek Township;

• Lime Bluff Road between East Lime Bluff Road and Route 405 in Muncy Creek Township;

• Route 220 between Route 87 in Cherry Township and Route 405 in Wolf Township;

• Main Street between Route 220 in Davidson Township and Nordmont Road in Laporte Township;

• Hunters Road between Christian Camp Road and Nordmont Road in Laporte Township;

• Christian Camp Road between Hunters Road in Laporte Township; and

• Whiskey Road in Davidson Township.

Updates will be issued when the roadways open, according to David Thompson, a state Department of Transportation spokesman in Montoursville.

The standing water is a danger for breeding mosquitos and the West Nile virus is prolific this year because of all of the rains, according to state Department of Environmental Protection.

As the area welcomes tens of thousands of visitors to the Little League World Series, spraying is to be done as effective control of adult mosquito populations, said Marcus Kohl, department north-central regional director.

The spraying will take place in South Williamsport, Armstrong Township, Montoursville and Loyalsock Township, he said.

Also, nice weather returns for Wednesday, and the Grand Slam Parade for Little Leaguers in Williamsport, he said.

Temperatures that day will be at a high of 87 degrees. The parade steps off at 6 p.m. but forms at 5 p.m. on streets near the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

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