Region’s Rainfall Has Already Surpassed Yearly Expectations
A wet August catapulted the region past its average annual rainfall with about three months still left in 2018.
So far this year, 42.12 inches of rain fell as measured at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, said Dave Dombek, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather. The region usually gets 38 inches a year.
“It could not rain for the rest of the year, and we’re still going to end the year above normal,” he said. “The normal amount to date should only have been 26.56 inches, so we’re already well above — almost 16 inches above.”
Most of that came in August with 10.59 inches of rain. Typically, the region gets about 3.4 inches of rain that month. This August was the second-wettest August and fourth-wettest month locally since official record-keeping started in 1901.
With remnants of Tropical Storm Florence expected to drench Northeast Pennsylvania as early as Monday night, the region might shatter its annual record rainfall of 60 inches, set in 2011.
Flooding also might be an issue next week, Dombek said. August’s rain caused significant local flooding, even damaging Lonesome Road in Old Forge. The road remains closed in both directions; the state Department of Transportation expects to have it repaired by the end of October.
At Fuller’s Overlook Farm in Waverly Twp., the rain washed away beets, destroyed cabbage and soaked pastures so much that livestock got bogged down in mud, said farm manager Liz Krug. The wet weather likely will shrink their upcoming harvest, especially the winter squash, she said.
“The rain has had a big effect on our growing season this year,” she said. “There’s too much moisture in the soil.”
Heavy rain also delayed major sewer infrastructure projects and construction along the Lackawanna River, said Bernie McGurl, executive director at Lackawanna River Conservation Association. The Lackawanna River is running consistently high, at about 2½ feet, about six inches above the average, he said. On Friday, it was over 3 feet, as measured by the United States Geological Survey in Archbald.
“It’s been an issue for a lot of people in the region,” he said.
For Anthony Angeli, owner of A’s Lawn and Landscaping Services in Moosic, each day is a waiting game because the rain can dictate their schedules.
“So far, this year has been crazy with the amount of rain,” he said. “These kind of jobs take a while, and the rain can destroy our whole work week. All the businesses that I know of are way behind.”
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