Flood forecast worsens

Published online: Sep 08, 2011 News The Patriot-News
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The Susquehanna River is now projected to crest at 29 feet - one half-foot higher than was forecast this morning. If that holds, it would make this flood very close to the second-worst in recorded history.

The Susquehanna River is expected to crest at Harrisburg at 30 feet sometime on Friday, Thompson said. The river make take several days to recede below flood stage, according to a hydrologist who was interviewed on WHP-580 AM on Thursday morning. 

As of 11:30 a.m., the river was at 22 feet. Flood stage is 17 feet.

The worst Susquehanna flood ever recorded, after Tropical Storm Agnes, was 32.6 feet, while a flood back in 1936 crested at 29.2 feet. 

At 29 feet, widespread flooding would occurs along both banks of the river. ON the Harrisburg side, waters would cover the length of Front Street, reach as far inland as Second Street in residential areas, as well as the entire Shipoke area. 

The HACC campus, the Farm Show Complex and the length of Cameron Street could also be covered in waters from the river and a backed-up Paxton Creek.

The southern gateway into Harrisburg coming off Interstate 83 will also very likely be completely flooded.

The Capitol complex will be closed.

The downtown areas of Second Street along Restaurant Row and around Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts are at a slightly higher elevation than residential areas farther uptown. But even if the waters do not reach those streets, access will be substantially cut off with city entrances off I-83 and I-81 via both Front and Cameron streets blocked by flood waters.

Residents in Shipoke are starting to evacuate. The Governor's Mansion on Front Street is also evacuating today.


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