September 2011 flooding on the Susquehanna River basin after Tropical Storm Lee

The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have made their way slowly from the Gulf of Mexico to the northeastern United States, bringing a storm with a slow-moving heavy rain. There is widespread flooding in the Susquehanna River basin and flash floods across the area. The Weather Underground's Jeff Masters has commentary on the storm from the morning of September 8, 2011, saying

An extreme rainfall event unprecedented in recorded history has hit the Binghamton, New York area, where 7.49" fell yesterday. This is the second year in a row Binghamton has recorded a 1-in-100 year rain event; their previous all-time record was set last September, when 4.68" fell on Sep 30 – Oct. 1, 2010. Records go back to 1890 in the city. The skies have now cleared in Binghamton, with this morning's rain bringing the city's total rainfall for the 40-hour event to 9.02". However, another large region of rain lies just to the south in Pennsylvania, and all of the rivers in the surrounding region are in major or record flood. The Susquehanna River at Binghamton is at 25', its highest level since records began in 1847, and is expected to overtop the flood walls protecting the city this afternoon. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Swatara Creek is 18' over flood stage, and more than 8' above its record flood crest. Widespread flash flooding is occurring across the entire area, and over 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

For current information, tune in to local news. Among the sources I have found that are broadcasting emergency flood coverage are WNEP TV-16 Scranton, the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, the Times Tribune, and WBNG-TV 12 Binghamton.

Emergency services channels can be tuned in via Radio Reference for Binghamton, Broome, Tioga, and Susquehanna CountiesLycoming County Public SafetyBradford County FireSchoharie County Public Safety; and other systems.

Here are some maps.

The Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center is a good first place to look for current information. This map from Wednesday, September 7, 2011 shows the flooding outlook for the area.

From the same source, point by point forecast river conditions:


This rain map, which Jeremy Denlinger pulled from the National Weather Service, shows a 72 hour rainfall total for the area.

Flooding in the Wilkes-Barre, PA area lead to mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas of the Wyoming Valley, according to a story in the Times-Leader which ran this map of affected areas:


Forecasters are comparing the impact of this storm to the 1972 Hurricane Agnes. The National Weather Service has a detailed meteorological account of the flooding from that storm.


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