‘Quick hitter’: Hurricane Isaias to dump heavy rain Tuesday; flood watch in effect

Updated at 8:16 p.m., Aug. 3: The storm strengthened to a Category I hurricane just ahead of making landfall in the Carolinas.

Tropical storm Isaias is expected to deliver 2 to 4 inches of rain to south-central Pennsylvania early this week, but some localized spots could see 6 inches or more, according to meteorologists. 

A flash flood watch has been issued for the area for 11 p.m. tonight through 11 p.m. Tuesday, said Amanda Wagner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

South central Pennsylvania is expected to receive two to four inches of rain from Hurricane Isaias.

As of Monday morning, the center of the storm is expected to pass right over Philadelphia, she said.

Meteorologist Eric Horst, director of the Weather Information Center at Millersville University, said he predicts rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches in York, Lancaster, Lebanon and Harrisburg areas.

It’ll start with scattered showers tonight. Several hours of steady to heavy rain is anticipated on Tuesday. Some small streams could flood, but major widespread flooding is not expected.

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He added that rainfall totals are running a little behind average this summer, and the ground will absorb the water well.

“It’s a quick hitter — gone by Tuesday evening,” Horst said.

The National Weather Service’s forecast is similar, with the possibility of higher localized amounts of six or more inches, Wagner said.

Higher rainfall totals are expected to be higher in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Areas west of Interstate 83 will likely see 1 to 2 inches of rain, AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Paul Walker said. 

Winds are expected to be 15 to 25 mph with some high gusts, Horst said. But the heaviest winds will be east of Interstate 95 and in the coastal plain.

Meteorologists remind residents to have an emergency kit, to stay away from any downed power lines and to never drive into flooded areas on roads.

First Energy Corp., which includes Met-Ed in central Pa. is beefing up resources ahead of the storm, according to a Monday news release. The company will staff additional dispatchers, damage assessors and analysts and arrange to bring in additional line, substation and forestry personnel as part of its storm response plan.

“Met-Ed line crews will be assisted by contractors who are currently working on transmission and distribution projects across its service area,” the release said. “As the tropical storm path becomes more certain, FirstEnergy utilities will continue mobilizing resources to provide support to all expected storm impact areas.”