Dauphin County Commissioners warn residents of potential for more flash flooding

HARRISBURG, PA (July 23, 2018) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III are encouraging residents, particularly those near flood-prone areas, to closely monitor conditions and be prepared for more flash flooding over the next 24 to 72 hours. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flash flood watch for Dauphin County until 8 p.m. on July 25.

“We’ve already seen about 2 to 4 inches of rain since Saturday, causing localized flash flooding as well as downed trees and power lines,” said Pries, who has oversight of the county’s Public Safety Department and Emergency Management Agency. “Anyone living along the Swatara Creek and other small tributaries should remain vigilant for flash flooding over the next few days.”

 According to the NWS, an additional one to four inches of rainfall is possible.

“Don’t try to swim or wade in rushing water,” said Haste. “Remember that it takes only six inches of rushing water to knock someone over.”

The Swatara Creek near Hershey is expected to crest on Wednesday night at 9.7 ft., just below moderate flood stage.

According to the NWS, the Swatara Creek at Middletown is predicted to crest on Wednesday evening at 9.8 ft., below action stage.

Hartwick emphasized that attempting to drive through flooded roadways can have deadly consequences. “Nearly half of all flash-flood fatalities are vehicle-related,” he said. “If you come across a flooded road, turn around, don’t drown. A foot of moving water will carry away most vehicles.”

The commissioners and the county’s Public Safety Department continue to monitor the level of the Susquehanna River, which, according to the NWS, may hit action stage and crest at 16.6 ft. early Thursday morning.

Residents are encouraged to listen to news outlets for weather-related updates and advisories.

Please visit www.DauphinCounty.org  for safety tips, emergency kit checklists and family plan templates.