The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 28, 2011

Irene's rain inundating upstate NY, New England

STATE COLLEGE — reports after crossing New York City earlier this morning, Irene is now inundating upstate New York State and northern New England as winds whip all of the Northeast.

Irene's center moved directly over New York City at about 9:00 a.m. EDT this morning. At the time, Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of 65 mph.

However, Irene remains a large and dangerous storm with a huge area of rain and strong wind.

Heavy rain from Irene has already triggered serious flooding from North Carolina to New York. Many of the area rivers and streams are out of their banks and will remain high in the wake of the storm as runoff continues.

Extremely heavy rain will continue to hit northern New England and upstate New York State as Irene plows north through this afternoon, which will cause the area impacted by flooding to expand.

Flood watches and warnings are in effect for this entire area.

Lingering rain over Pennsylvania will make the already severe flooding in this area worse.

"While flooding along streets and in low-lying areas will be worse in the interim, river flooding will worsen in the hours and days after the rain stops falling," stated Meteorologist Bill Deger.

Winds will be slow to subside after Irene's center passes by to the north. Irene was still causing tropical storm-force wind as far south as Delaware as of early afternoon. meteorologists are calling for winds over 50 mph to continue over eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southern New York and Connecticut through this afternoon. With the soil in these areas quite soft from Irene's tremendous rainfall, the risk for downed trees and power outages will remain high until the wind subsides this evening.

Irene's storm surge reached 4 to 5 feet along the New Jersey and New York coastline. At Battery Park, it was the sixth-highest water level ever recorded at 9.5 feet above mean low water level.

Water levels should subside along the southern New England, New York and New Jersey coastlines this afternoon as the storm pulls away to the north. However, residents of the coastal areas should be prepared for the water levels to fluctuate due to shifting winds behind the retreating storm.

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