WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Communities across the region are waiting and watching as Ida approaches Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.
The track of the storm will factor into how much rain falls in the area. The Susquehanna River is not expected to cause any major issues for most of the region. Low lying areas near the river and those who live near creeks and streams could be in Ida’s bullseye.
“There’s so much uncertainty we’re just watching the forecast, working with the National Weather Service in Binghamton. We are just trying to get information out asking people to be prepared,” Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Lucy Morgan said.
And that’s the bottom line. So says Morgan and the acting county manager Romilda Crocamo. Heavy rains could have a big impact on low lying areas and creeks like Solomon Creek in South Wilkes-Barre. That’s why city workers installed the flood gates along the creek Tuesday.
“It’s not the river. The river level obviously is going to go higher but that’s not our main concerns right now. Obviously any low lying farmland, Plainsville, places like that. Flash flooding, creeks streams. The ground is saturated so it’s not going to be able to take much so there’s going to be a lot of run-off,” Morgan said.
County officials offer this advice to people who may live in those areas: “Right now those individuals you should start to prepare and make sure you have all your medications important belongings you might need. Make sure your pet will be safe but use this time to prepare,” Crocamo said.
That includes many people who live in the Shickshinny area. Folks like Jim Bach know all too well how fast the Susquehanna can rise in this region that is not protected by a levee. He insists that islands in the rivers are a big factor in flooding in this region.
“Every time the river comes up it’s muddy more stuff accumulates on the islands and that’s why we get flooded and stuff,” Bach said.