With threats of flooding around central Pennsylvania, meteorologists at the National Weather Service said Centre County should be in the clear by Saturday, when Penn State plays Michigan at Beaver Stadium.
On Thursday night and into Friday afternoon, State College recorded an inch and a half of rain while other parts of central Pennsylvania received as much as seven inches, said John LaCorte, a forecaster at the National Weather Service’s State College office.
Throughout the rest of Friday, LaCorte said drizzle could be expected on and off for the Penn State homecoming parade at 6 p.m., but not enough rain to wreak havoc on the event.
“It looks like State College and Centre County will be OK, but there will be on-and-off rain all day,” LaCorte said. “The lower Susquehanna Valley is where we’ll see the biggest problem.”
Penn State issued a statement that said as part of every home game day, university representatives consult with meteorologists and track weather patterns.
University spokeswoman Lisa Powers said school officials work with Penn State meteorologist Bill Syrett, who assured that “the heaviest rain will not reach us.”
“In fact, after the parade, it is fairly likely we don’t see any measurable rain through Saturday,” Powers said.
However with visitors traveling into the area from the flood-watch zones, LaCorte urges drivers to be safe. A flood warning was issued for south-central and southeastern Pennsylvania, while a hazardous weather outlook as been issued for Clinton and Lycoming counties throughout the weekend or until further notice, LaCorte said.
“We tell drivers that (they should) never under any circumstance, ever drive through flooded roadways,” LaCorte said.
Most deaths from flooding occur when drivers attempt to cross flooded streets and are swept away by water currents, LaCorte said.
All university football lots are expected to be open, however due to weather uncertainty, the University Parking Office has a backup plan.
If the stadium parking lots are full or unusable, Fullington will operate shuttle service to and from Innovation Park, university officials said. The first five buses will start at 2 p.m. with a second five buses running at 3 p.m., Powers said.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
Powers said grass parking is still an option; however parking may not be as efficient due to muddy conditions. The shuttle service will be used only as a last resort and fans should go to their assigned lots, Powers said.