The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 8, 2013

Lightning chases 240 Envirothon students

— SUNBURY — When Lexie Danilowicz, a senior at Mount Carmel Area High School, saw that it would be raining during the Envirothon on Wednesday, she didn’t think much of it, since it had rained during the event before.

“We’re used to it,” she said. “As long as they provide us with a shelter, we’re OK.”

But shortly after Danilowicz and the other nearly 240 students finished their first round of testing, lightning caused the event to be postponed for the first time in the Envirothon’s more than 20-year history.

“If it’s just rain, that’s one thing, but with the lightning, it’s not safe,” said Craig Bingman, one of the event’s organizers.

The competition, held at the Shikellamy State Park overlook, was offered to ninth- through 12th-graders in Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. This year, 46 teams from 17 schools are competing.

The students huddled in groups during the early morning rain, taking shelter under one of the park’s pavilion before heading to their first of six rotations. But when lightning and thunder kicked in, organizers decided to call the event off. Students will now complete the tests in class and return them to the Envirothon committee by a certain date to determine a winner, who will attend the state competition, Bingman said.

The Envirothon normally is an event that brings students together to experience nature while testing their skills, but Wednesday’s rain was too up-close-and-personal, Bingman said.

“With the lightning, we just don’t trust it,” he said.

And organizers had good reason to worry.

A fire at an apartment building Wednesday morning in Shamokin Dam was blamed on a lightning strike, and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for most of the Valley at midday Wednesday.

The Valley was in a “sweet spot” that received anywhere from 1 to 2.5 inches of rain from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon, said meteorologist Erik Pindrock.

At the Selinsgrove airport, 2.38 inches of rain in 15 hours was recorded, and in Milton, 1.5 inches fell, Pindrock said.

“That’s certainly quite a lot of rain,” he said.

The average amount of rain in Selisngrove is 3.70 inches for the entire month of May, Pindrock said. Getting more than half of that in 15 hours can be dangerous, he said.

“In terms of the Susquehanna River, since we haven’t had a whole lot of rain recently, there’s no immediate concerns,” he said. “It’s mostly with smaller creeks and streams that are going to rise above their banks.”

The rain this week is not over yet, with more expected this morning, though not “as rainy as (Wednesday),” Pindrock said.

Friday evening, another storm system will be rolling into the area, Pindrock said.

“I think ‘unsettled’ would be a good word for (this week’s weather),” he said.

Wednesday’s rainfall brings the year-to-date precipitation total to more than 11 inches, with the average being more than 13 inches.

Text Only
  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Union County driver, 86, dies near Weikert

    WEIKERT — An 86-year-old Weikert man died in a one-car accident Tuesday morning, when he lost control of his vehicle on Weikert Road in front of the Union County Sportsman’s Club, veered off the road and slammed into a tree.

    July 22, 2014

  • Director hired for Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area

    BURNSIDE — An Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area committee member with experience in the ATV industry was named the operations director of the park during Monday night’s authority meeting.

    July 22, 2014

  • Line Mountain hires expert to test gauge that failed

    MANDATA — Members of the Line Mountain school board Tuesday unanimously approved hiring an engineering expert to test a pressure gauge and fuel system that failed at the former Dalmatia Elementary School in February.

    July 22, 2014

  • 'Greatest con artist' gets 2 more years behind bars

    WILLIAMSPORT — The “greatest con artist” Senior Judge Robert Sacavage said he has ever seen was sentenced Monday to 2 more years in prison after he traveled outside the U.S. Middle District of Pennsylvania without permission and failed to report to his probation officer.

    July 22, 2014

  • 1obamanew.jpg Conflicting rulings on Obamacare

    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama’s health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • bearden9.jpg Bail reduced for Bearden

    Jasmine Bearden, who was arrested earlier this year on criminal attempted homicide charges for the alleged abuse of her six-week old baby, had her bail reduced in Union County on Tuesday morning.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.