By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — The Valley will be getting soaked on Thursday, with up to four inches of rain in some places - the equivalent of the average rainfall for the entire month of June, according to AccuWeather.
The rains are part of a massive weather event called a derecho, which is a massive storm of strong straight-line winds spanning at least 240 miles.
“We’ll get anywhere from one to three inches of rain,” said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather. “But it’s not out of the question some spots pick up four inches.”
The rain is expected to start late Wednesday evening and continue through most of the day on Thursday, Kines said. The rainfall comes after the area recevied about an inch to an inch and a half of rain Monday.
While river levels should not produce flooding along the Susquehanna, localized flooding is possible as smaller creeks and streams work to absorb the huge amounts of rain, Kines said.
“Those definitely have to be watched,” he said. “The creeks and the streams, they can’t handle that much water all at once. it causes the rapid rises and eventually causes them to overflow.”
Thursday's storms moved in from the Midwest, where they drenched the region Wednesday, Kines said. All told Wednesday, the area the weather service predicted 64 million people in 10 states were at a heightened risk of dangerous weather.
Last year, a derecho caused at least $1 billion in damage from Chicago to Washington, killing 13 people and leaving more than 4 million people without power, according to the weather service. Winds reached nearly 100 mph in some places and in addition to the 13 people who died from downed trees, another 34 people died from the heat wave that followed in areas without power.
But by Friday and the weekend, the rains should be long gone, with sunshine expected Saturday, Kines said - which brings up another thing to watch out for this weekend: grass height, Kines said.
“Once the sun comes out after all this rain - Friday or Saturday - the grass is going to grow (a lot),” he said.