Tropical Storm Isaias help could come from central Pa.: command units housed at Indian Rock

Emergency command and control vehicles like this one are house at Indian Rock Dam in York County.

Central Pennsylvania isn’t expected to get anything more than some minor flooding from Tropical Storm Isaias, but that doesn’t mean the region won’t be on alert.

That’s because the Deployable Tactical Operations System vehicles and crews for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District are being housed in York. They are on alert/standby to “provide mobile command and control centers and communications capabilities wherever needed,” according a corps news release.

Even though officials are keeping an eye on numerous dams and reservoirs in central Pa., the vehicles could be sent anywhere, not necessarily in our region.

On standby are emergency command and control vehicles and mobile communications vehicles that can serve as command vehicles or offices on wheels for first responders, government officials and emergency planning and response teams.

More:Six-day heatwave ends after storms dump rain, cause flooding, but mercury to climb again

Kevin Fitzgerald, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College, said Tropical Storm Isaias is tracking to soak central Pa. on Tuesday, but anything more than minor flooding isn’t likely.

“Right now, the tropical storm is scheduled to hit the Delmarva peninsula late Tuesday,” Fitzgerald said. “Tuesday will be the closest pass to our area. Because of our dry conditions, it will take significant rain to do any damage here.”

But he said the storm could change. A move to the east and it could miss us altogether. A move inland could bring significantly more rain and even some gusty winds.

Because of the storm’s path, the Army Corps of Engineers is keeping a close eye on the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds and Indian Rock Dam in York County, which is where the vehicles are kept.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District and its personnel stand ready to help communities in our region reduce risks from Hurricane Isaias and to rapidly support emergency response efforts locally or across the country in support of state and federal response activities,” Baltimore District Commander Col. John T. Litz said. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is always prepared to support local and federal emergency response efforts, and especially stands ready to again serve as FEMA’s engineer should the need arise.”

Officials will monitor gauges, water levels and reservoir conditions in real time to make decisions on gate operations at dams in the region.

If dam operations need to be modified beyond typical flow changes, the public will receive advance warning through their local emergency management channels.

Shelly Stallsmith is a trends reporter for the York Daily Record. She can be reached at or followed on Twitter at @ShelStallsmith.