Meteorologist: More rain coming

Airport reported 2.95 inches of rain in 24 hours

Mirror photo by Greg Bock / Tyrone Borough Mayor Bill Latchford looks over the Little Juniata River on Sunday evening as rain continued to saturate the area and cause streams and rivers to rise.

Sunday’s steady, soaking rain swelled streams and rivers throughout the region, begging the question, will it ever stop raining?

“We’re not done,” meteorologist Greg DeVoir with the National Weather Service in State College said Sunday night. About 7 p.m. Sunday, DeVoir estimated another 12 to 18 hours of steady rain thanks to a very slow moving weather system.

DeVoir said a line of showers and thunderstorms could punctuate the extremely wet weekend before the rain stops sometime this afternoon.

“It’s hour after hour of steady light to moderate rain,” DeVoir said, noting that while the area experienced an unusually rainy summer, those storms were mostly downpours that brought short-lived flash flooding to roads and low-lying areas.

Sunday’s rain was the kind that swells streams and rivers over a one- to two-day time frame, so the flooding from this latest rain would take more time to occur and more time to recede, DeVoir noted.

With wind gusts of 10-15 mph also expected, homeowners should also be aware that the soggy ground has created ideal conditions for the uprooting of trees, particularly pines, he said.

In Blair County, 2 to 3 inches of rain had fallen by Sunday night, with 4 inches or more falling near the Maryland border, he said.

The Altoona-Blair County Airport in Martins­burg reported that 2.95 inches of rain fell between 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday.

In Tyrone, Mayor Bill Latchford said he was confident the Little Juniata River would stay within its banks when he checked it from wall along Burley Avenue at about 5 p.m.

The Bald Eagle Creek, which meets up with the Little Juniata just south of downtown Tyrone, was running high and fast and Latchford said he expected it to rise another 4 or 5 feet at the confluence.

The borough’s concern is the water in the Little Juniata, he said, where sediment has formed a large island of sorts that constricts the width of the river. Latchford said Sunday night that he would go out every few hours to check on the river.

“So far, so good,” he said.

As the rain drummed the area Sunday, roads were closed and firefighters were called by residents for help as basements flooded.

According to the Penn­syl­vania Department of Trans­portation, the following roads were closed due to flooding:

— Route 764 from Burgoon Road to Logan Boulevard.

— Reservoir Road at Chris Street.

— River Road to Locke Mountain Road in Frankstown Township.

— Royer Mountain Road.

— Locke Mountain Road, from Reservoir Road to East Loop Road in Frankstown Township.

— Juniata Valley Road from Route 22 to Upper Reese Road in Frankstown Township.

— Knob Road/Knob Run Road/Allegheny Street/Puzzletown Road, from Poplar Run road to Weaver Road in Freedom Township.

PennDOT spokesman Anthony Scalia urged drivers not to drive through flooded roadways, noting “shallow, swiftly flowing water can wash a car from a roadway” and “the roadbed may not be intact under the water.”

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.

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