Ida is now a tropical storm as residents along the Gulf coast wake up on this Monday morning. It was downgraded overnight as the eyewall collapsed and the storm weakened a bit. Not that that should really matter. Ida is still a powerful storm. It contains tornadoes and flooding rains that continue to pound parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. The storm will eventually move into the Tennessee Valley tomorrow and then northward toward our area by Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Locally, Ida is expected to dump plenty of rainfall late Tuesday through early Thursday. 2-5″ of rain is expected for our region during that time. This won’t be a wind event. But it could be a flooding event. The Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers should hold within their banks, but given the amount of rainfall expected, the rivers will be monitored closely. The main concern will be smaller streams and creeks, like the Yellow Breeches for example. Basements that typically take on water should be monitored. Plan now so you aren’t caught off guard Wednesday. This will bring a ton of water to the region and it’s always best to get a jump start on ensuring you do whatever you need to do in order to protect your property. Roads will likely be flooded at times too through Wednesday night. So remember, turn around, don’t drown. The slogan is corny, but the message could save your life. Don’t ever drive through flooded waters. It’s not worth the risk.
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The abc27 weather team will continue to monitor Ida’s path and moisture over the next 48 hours. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH has been posted for our area from Wednesday into Thursday due to the expected rainfall. Any tweaks to the forecast will be communicated immediately, so check back often. In the meantime, prepare now if you live in a flood-prone area. Ida’s rain won’t be something to mess around with during go time. Stay tuned!
-Meteorologist Brett Thackara