Warmer weather -- and potential for flooding -- coming to York
York Dispatch, The (PA), 2014-02-20
Feb. 20--Temperatures will hover around 50 degrees this weekend, no doubt a welcomed change from the cold, snowy weather of weeks past.
But with milder temperatures could come rapid melting of the frosty piles covering York County. Potential rain showers tonight into Friday could speed up the process even more,
Residents should neither panic nor ignore the potential for flooding, said Michael Helfrich, a York City councilman who also serves as the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper.
The Codorus Creek is relatively shallow at the moment, Helfrich said.
"As far as the creek flooding in the city, it doesn't look bad right now," he said. "But if we're talking about stuff backing up in some streets and getting into basements, that's where we have an opportunity to get ahead of the game and make sure that the storm drains are cleared."
Folks who live in flood-prone areas should be especially prepared, Helfrich said. Consider moving valuable items from basements and clearing storm drains nearby, he said.
"Unlike some of the storms, we can see that this is coming," he said. "If you make preparations now, it's better to be safe than sorry."
Jim Gross, the city's public works director, said work crews have made sure the most critical inlets and storm drains are cleared.
The forecast: Temperatures will reach about 50 degrees Friday, Saturday and Sunday, said Elyse Colbert, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.
So the snow is sure to melt, she said.
"But the ground is going to be able to absorb some of it," Colbert said. "We're not really expecting like a high-impact flood event."
However, she said, there is the potential for isolated problems. For example, melting ice can get jammed in rivers and streams, creating a "natural dam."
"Water will back up behind that. You could get some spilling over the banks because of that," Colbert said.
Next week, it's going to cool off again, Colbert said. There is some potential for a few inches of snow Tuesday, she said.
"It looks relatively low impact," Colbert said. "But it's something we're going to keep an eye on."
- Reach Erin James at email@example.com.
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