Hurricane Ida: Rain, power outages, flooding

Rain, power outages and flooding were the norm Wednesday, as predicted.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought steady rain to Franklin County all day, but as of late afternoon, it probably could have been worse. The end of rain, electrical outages and flooded roads is yet to come however.

The National Weather Service in State College said the Chambersburg area got about five inches of rain Wednesday. West Penn Power reported 13 outages cross the county.

In Chambersburg, intermittent power outages downtown were caused by rainwater in the underground electric network, according to Borough Manager Jeff Stonehill. Borough Council cancelled a special meeting at the Capitol Theatre because of the problem.

Schools in Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Tuscarora closed Wednesday. Chambersburg called two virtual school days Wednesday and Thursday. Waynesboro closed Wednesday and will have a make up day in February. Tuscarora will also make up Wednesday in February. The district will decide early on Thursday whether or not to delay or close that day, depending on flooding.

Multiple roads in the Fayetteville and Scotland area are completely flooded, according to Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Co. Do not attempt to drive through them. Turn around and find an alternate route.

In Waynesboro, South Potomac Street between 5th & 6th streets, Welty road between Hollengreen Drive and Amsterdam Road were closed Wednesday.

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No evacuations Wednesday

As of mid afternoon Wednesday, Franklin County Emergency Services head Jacob Crider said flooding was spotty across the county most of the day. He warned rain is supposed to continue through the night, however.

“No one particular area has been affected more than any other,” he said. “There have been a few instances of minor flooding and a few secondary road closures. There have also been some isolated reports of power outages.”

The Franklin County Department of Emergency Services reported no evacuations Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for the county until 8 a.m. Thursday.

“We are continuing to monitor the forecast and changes in the weather,” Crider said Wednesday afternoon. “We are prepared to respond accordingly.”

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Advice for the public

At MMP&W Volunteer Fire Co. in Mercersburg, crews prepared pumps and hoses for flooding situations before the storm started, ensuring they operate properly.

Don’t drive through standing water, first responders across the county warned.

They also had advice for residents with basement flooding.

If water begins to flood your basement, rising enough to endanger electric panel box(s) and outlets, or is causing structural damage, call 911.

Otherwise, it isn’t an emergency, and can wait until the storm passes.

Events like this typically run resources thin in the county, and a pending queue starts to form. Stay home if you really don’t need to be out. If in the event you loose power, and run a generator, ensure the exhaust is properly ventilated away from your house, Never place a portable generator inside your garage, or home!

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