The National Weather Service in Binghamton, N.Y., has issued a flood watch through Sunday for streams and creeks across Northeastern Pennsylvania as a storm system is expected to dump 1.5 to 3 inches of rain this weekend.
Luzerne County Emergency Management Coordinator Stephen Bekanich said he is not anticipating problems with the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre, but is keeping a close eye on flood prone creeks and streams in the area.
One such waterway is Solomon Creek in Ashley, Hanover Township and South Wilkes-Barre. The flood prone creek was running fast Friday afternoon after being dormant for most of the winter season.
Liza Prokop, city spokesperson, said officials will be watching the creek to determine if the flood gates on South Franklin, South Regent, Barney and Waller streets will need to be closed.
“We always remain alert to the forecast with significant rain and will implement our usual plan for the floodgates,” Prokop said in an email. “At this point, we’ll be monitoring the weather for tomorrow to determine whether or not to activate the plan.”
“The National Weather Service is calling for 1.5 to 3 inches of rain,” Bekanich said. “It may bring the river up to 19, 20, 21 feet but it shouldn’t cause any flooding issues on the river.”
The river in Wilkes-Barre was 3.6 feet at 2:45 p.m. Friday. The Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center in State College predicts the river to reach just below 18 feet Monday morning in Wilkes-Barre.
The natural flood stage in Wilkes-Barre is 22 feet with the levees protecting most of the Wyoming Valley up to 38 to 39 feet with a three-foot buffer.
Less than one inch of rain in three hours is needed to cause flash flooding on some small streams and creeks, the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center reported in its weather briefing on Friday.