Heavy rains are predicted to hit the area this weekend, melting snow and causing flooding in some areas.
"The so-called good stuff will get here [tonight] and into Friday," senior meteorologist Tom Kines with AccuWeather.com in State College said Wednesday. "And then there will probably be another round of substantial rain Saturday or Saturday night. When it's all said and done, this could easily be a 1- to 3-inch rain event."
The storm has the potential to pour 4 to 5 inches of rain on the area across Pennsylvania and other mid-Atlantic states and into Ohio and West Virginia, Kines said.
"Rain alone can easily cause flooding problems," he said. "When you factor in all the snow melt that's going to be going on, it just raises the flood potential even more."
The National Weather Service in State College issued a flood watch from tonight through early Sunday morning in Cambria and Somerset counties.
"There's an awful lot of water in the snow pack right now," weather service meteorologist John LaCorte said.
A flood watch for the rest of the area was a possibility by the end of the week, but it was still too early to tell on Wednesday afternoon, LaCorte said.
"I can't rule it out, but I'm not saying we will [issue a watch] either," LaCorte said. "We're just monitoring the storm - it's a good 48 hours away."
Blair County Emergency Management Director Dan Boyles said areas along the Juniata and Little Juniata rivers that are prone to flooding could cause issues this weekend.
"For homeowners and businesses in a [flood] prone area, you should be looking at your facility or your residence and getting things up off the floor," he said. "Open up the floor drain, make sure there's no obstacle there and protect furnaces and hot water tanks. It's nothing more than mitigating the hazard."
It's also important for residents in flood-prone areas to make arrangements to stay with family and friends for a few days, Bedford County Emergency Management Director Dave Cubbison said.
"The areas of concern know who they are," he said. "In some areas of Bedford, flooding has been an issue over decades. They expect it at certain times, and they know when there's heavy rain and tend to watch creeks, streams."
It's also important to make arrangements for pets, Cubbison said.
"People can become stranded quickly, and if they're aware that the water is coming up, they need to make arrangements now," Cubbison said. "They need to know where they would go for two or three days, to stay with family and friends. ... If somebody calls 911 for help, we're putting the rescuers in harm's way, and they're risking their lives going into quickly flowing water when someone's known about [the threat] for at least a day or two."
Motorists who come upon a flooded road should not attempt to drive through it, PennDOT spokeswoman Pam Kane said.
"If you do happen to drive through standing water and you get stuck, do not get out of your car," Kane said. "Call 911. You don't know how deep it is, and if it's deep enough to stall your car, it's dangerous."