Flood watch for NEPA

By Ed Lewis - [email protected] | January 11th, 2018 8:39 am - updated: 10:33 am.

With more than two inches of rain and high temperatures reaching into the high 50s in the forecast, the National Weather Service in Binghamton, New York, has issued a flood watch for Northeastern Pennsylvania.

A combination of snow melt, rainfall and potential ice jams may cause flooding on local rivers and streams, the NWS reported.

Rivers and streams could see locally fast and significant rises in ice jam areas.

The Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre is expected to rise to 16 to 18 feet Saturday night into Sunday morning, according to the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center. The natural flood stage is 22 feet while levees protect most of the Wyoming Valley up to 41 feet.

At 7:15 a.m. Thursday, the river in Wilkes-Barre was just above four feet.

A storm system is expected to move into the region bringing warm temperatures and rain before changing to freezing rain, sleet and snow Saturday morning before tapering off.

Ironically, 22 years ago in January 1996, the region was hit with two significant snowfalls followed by a tropical rain storm with temperatures in the 60s that resulted in the Susquehanna River rising to near flood stage and an evacuation of the Wyoming Valley. At the time, the height of the levee in the Wyoming Valley was 37 feet.

The river crested in Wilkes-Barre at 34.45 feet on Jan. 20, 1996.

Ice covers the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL010317Freezing2-1.jpgIce covers the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader