Tropical Storm Nicole: Heavy rainfall predicted

With heavy widespread rainfall anticipated Friday and overnight into Saturday due to Tropical Storm Nicole, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) reminds Pennsylvanians to exercise caution during periods of heavy rain and be alert for potential flooding on roadways and in low-lying areas.

Rain is expected to begin tomorrow morning and continue throughout that day and overnight. The heaviest rain is expected in the northwest region of the state, which could receive between 4 and 6 inches of rain, with rates of up to an inch per hour during the heaviest downpours. Much of the state could receive between 2 and 4 inches of rain.

“Our crews have been preparing for days by clearing out debris around drainage inlets and under bridges while readying equipment,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “With the forecast amount of rain, we remind the public to not drive on roads that are covered with water because even shallow, swiftly flowing water can wash a car from a roadway.”

Motorists should watch for ponding on roadways and flooding in poor drainage areas while traveling.

“Based on the current forecast, we’re not expecting widespread flooding due to this storm system,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “However, you should be aware for the possibility of flooding on roadways and plan out several routes to get to your destination so that you don’t put yourself, your loved ones and first responders in danger.”

PennDOT warnings

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) warns motorists not to drive across roads covered with water because even shallow, swiftly flowing water can wash a car from a roadway. Also, the roadbed may not be intact under the water. Never drive around barricades or signs on closed roads – Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

Anyone planning to travel should closely monitor weather conditions along travel routes. Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

More information about how to prepare for any type of emergency, including specific information for people with access and functional needs or pets, is available on the Ready PA webpage.

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