First, time for the clean-up BEFORE the storm hitting the Midstate


YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Trick question: When does the clean-up from Ida begin?

If you know it’s a trick question, you might also guess the answer: before the storm.

abc27 News caught up with a PennDOT crew along I-83 near Glen Rock Tuesday, clearing out “inlets,” as they’re known – drains that lead to the stormwater system.

With the help of heavy equipment, workers lifted grates off the top of inlets, shoveled up the debris inside — everything from dirt to pieces of little small enough to fall through the slats — and then a sweeper truck sucked up what they had shoveled. Inlet by inlet, this crew was going, from Leader Heights (just south of the city of York) to near the Maryland state line. PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler said other crews worked across the county and throughout the Midstate — and most of the state, aside from the northwest, which was forecast to be out of the path of the remnants of Ida.

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With flooding, just two weeks earlier (from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred) still fresh in local memories, Gary Ishman, PennDOT’s maintenance manager for York County, said flooding is a question not only of rainfall totals — but also of how quickly the accumulation happens. He said the rainfall from Fred came particularly quickly.

abc27’s meteorologists confirmed too that this flooding — however much or little there is — comes with more advance notice than the mid-August flooding.

Still, better to be safe than… well, you know.

“We plan for the worst, and you know, if it doesn’t hit us as hard as they say, we can always scale back,” Ishman said.

Another thing we know but that’s worth repeating?

“If you see water – ponding water – please don’t drive through it,” Ishman said. “Because you never know what’s underneath there. It could be a washed-out pipe. Could be a bridge missing.”

Indeed, two people died after a roadway in Mississippi collapsed Monday while Ida was hitting the state.

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