Flood watch in NW PA and how to plan for such events

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

We had a semi mild winter until 3 weeks ago. Two snow storms hit us - not as bad as some areas, but I have been snowbound in the house. Thankfully I have a full pantry!

Things were slightly improving and I was hoping for a break in weather so I could finally get out. Be careful what you ask for.

Yesterday was in the 50's and the rain began early this morning. All this snow melting at record pace and rain on top! I am watching the small stream across the road grow in water and turn a brown color - not good!~ If I open the front door, I hear the roar of the water.

The creek behind the house will not reach us, but the neighbors are probably already having issues. Our flooding is runoff from across the hill. It used to run across the road and enter the basement but I put in a rock raised bed so that will send it away from the house if things get as bad as I think they may.

So it brings up the question, "What can you do if you live in an area that floods?" Some of my neighbors can just tie things down and stock up on food. Other may be able to divert some of the water and hope for the best.

Have you lived in a area that can flood and what did you do to help the situation?

And there are positive things with flooding - if it does not involve property damage. My lower yard is nutrient rich. I can pick up rock (yes I get big rock from across the road) to use for projects and even gravel. I get wood to use for fires or crafting.


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Our actual flood watch begins at 1 pm (an hour from now) and will last until tomorrow moring. Out rainfall will get heavier this afternoon.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    7 hours of straight rain on top of snow. Fog is already rolling in and the road crew has been frantically trying tomove ice and snow from ther so called road ditch. As fast as they move it it falls back in along with the dirt clods they dug up. It should be an interesting evening in my county

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Right now, several of the main rivers in Northern Ohio are on flood watch. The Grand River in NE Ohio is always on the list as well as the Vermilion River. As long as the water is moving and there is not a jam at the break wall, things will be okay. high water is a "normal" around here.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    High water here means flooding. Its going to be a long night and morning.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I was wondering how the water level is at this point in the evening.😊

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There were road issues throughout the night but the road was not closed.

    The creek behnd us is cresting at flood stage so houses below us and the next town are in trouble.

    The rain has stopped and temps fell so that will help the water level but I still expect it to crest a bit more.

    Oveall we did well. Nighttime flooding is the worst as you can't see how bad it is until its too late.

    What snow is left is hard and mostly ice. Its hard moving outdoors today. Two day of this and another high warm up with more possible flooding. Its a strange end to winter.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Update. Well in front of out house for runoff flooding we did well. Some frozen ice on the road and some water in the road during ther night but no big issues. I think the 50 foot long dozer that dug out our ditch on the other side of ther road helped prevent a huge issue. The road is closed above us and traffice is being redirected to a town that sits on a hill so stayed dry.

    As for the rest of the county, many roads are closed or have one lane and ice. There have been wrecks and one car is sitting in 3 foot of water.

    I hear the conewango creek is at flood level and has been raising faster than they predicted so the fun continues for many.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    OH My! Sorry to here you are having such weather related issues. Flooding is no fun at all. Several years ago we had some major flooding in our area. Washed out from under railroad tracks in some pretty long mountainous stretches stranding a lot of tourists. They had to bring in a lot of buses to get folks back to Anchorage and many missed their flights heading home. In our little village they thought the river was going to flood right up main street and concentrated on that side of the village while the river had other plans. It flooded on the other end of the village in the residential areas.

    Many folks had to evacuate, that had not had to originally. They eventually evacuated most of the village to the higher ground just outside the main part of the village. Several shops in the "downtown" area had flooding in their basement levels. But in the worst parts homes had flooded pretty bad. Sewers and septic tanks had flooded. Friends whose home is around 3 feet off the ground had water less than an inch from coming into the home and could not go back in for about three weeks while water slowly abated and clean up began. Thankfully we live on the outer edges of the village and are high and dry from that type of flooding.

    We get flooding during the breakup season as all the snow starts melting and in years like this one where we got hard freezing temperatures before the snow came and now lots of late season snows, when breakup does come the ground is frozen too deep and the water will have no where to drain to. We will have a few ponds/lakes in our drive and yard. Have to drag out a pump and pump water away from our cabin and driveway.

    On the bright side, I do have a great video of our first duck who took a swim in the driveway one year when the water got deep. She had a good time. Water was above the height of our breakup boots.

    Good luck and we will be praying for you and everyone in your area.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We're seeing a lot of unstable weather this winter. Warm early on, then extremely cold, then 18+ inches in a single snowstorm, then a lot of warm weather that triggered potential flooding, then concerns about icing.

    It definitely pays to be well prepared under these conditions.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie Water level is staying well below flood stage. Seems to be running pretty fast with no ice blockage near the breakwall.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    We have had some severe flooding in various river drainages around us. We personally live on a hill. Although we have had, in previous years, a bit of flooding when ditches overflow, but not this year. Best to all of you who are having so many problems with flooding.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 961 ✭✭✭✭

    How are you doing now?

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In Pennsylvania the creek is high and at lower level flood stage. The major damage from last week is mainly cleaned up.

    Today is 50 plus so there will be some snow melt off and tomorrow will be 50 plus and 3/4 inch rain in the forecast - so with the high water level now and what will happne in the next day we will have another round of flooding.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @Monek Marie wow you are really copping a drenching. Having sandbags readily available is always handy to divert water or to stop it seeping into a house or shed. SES (state emergency service) now has a sandbag filling station in our community for easy access. Our area is one of the first to get cut off in a major rain event, so having access to this is great. We don’t get flooded at our property, just the low lying areas in the district but I make a rule not to drive on our property when its really wet, walking only. We have just invested in some major driveway/road works on our main entry which is all weather but the internal tracks within the property are no go in the wet. It just causes erosion & headaches in the future.

    Staying put & stocked up is a good alternative if immediate flood water is not a concern. Takes the pressure off emergency services who are already under pressure.

  • Owl
    Owl Posts: 346 ✭✭✭

    The preparations for staying home are pretty easy but I would definitely do specific things for any travel at all. I would make sure I had a good number of the good, reliable ziplock bags for securing electronics as well as fresh, dry clothes for everyone and (out here in the country) I would have a chainsaw ready to cut trees off roadways and all weather flares in case of car trouble.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another night, another flood watch. The ditch across the road held sop we are dry. The back yard is flooded but far from the house and anything that can float away. I plan to check and see how far away it is from the "Oh Sh*t" tree. When the water reaches the tree the lower two towns are bailing water and being rescued from their homes.

    I plan to walk to the neighbors and check on their kayaks that they did not put away.

    I am thankful most of the snow has melted. My car has been buried under snow for a month but yesterday I got it free and escaped into the real world - the only difference, gas is 20 cents more a gallon and shelves are more empty that they were a month ago.

    And yes, sandbags, Flares (very helpful for me on this road) and water stored up is alwasy a good idea when a flood watch is out.

    Our flood watch is still in place until this evening for ther lowland areas that flood easily. They are already under water Its just if water will start to enter the homes now.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    With all the rain that we've had here, the water is high and moving fast. But nowhere close to flood stage.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Our creek crests tomorrow above flood level. Its pretty bad here but I have seen worse. There are three road closed down due to flooding and road damage. Two they do not know when they will reopen. Two other counties have road closed too. We share the fun around here ;)

    @RustBeltCowgirl Glad to hear you are doing good and staying dry!~

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I'm lucky in the fact that we're far enough from the river that it won't really cause major problems for us if it floods. But it splits the town in half.

    At our property, we have the flied drainage ditch that sometimes goes over its' banks, but not far enough to impact the house.