Centre County could get two more inches of rain, flooding

Heavy rain subsided at about 3:30 a.m. Friday after rainfall flooded several local areas, mostly in the northern half of the county.

National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Ross said some areas may have gotten four to seven inches of rain in a matter of a few hours. That much rain in such a short period is significant — State College’s record 24-hour rainfall was 5.05 inches on Sept. 18, 2004 when Hurricane Ivan flooded parts of Centre County.

Centre County could get two more inches of rain Friday, which could cause more flooding, though a flash flood warning expired at 7:30 a.m. NWS updated its alert to a flood warning until 10:15 a.m.

Gene Lauri, Centre County public information officer, said about 100 families were evacuated in Milesburg. He did not know how many Howard Township families were evacuated. Rescues were performed throughout Friday morning to save people stranded with their cars or trapped in homes. No injuries or fatalities have been reported to authorities.

A shelter was set up in Bald Eagle Area School District — school was canceled — for displaced families.

Milesburg resident Sheila Stever describes the flooding she discovered in her daughter's house Friday morning.

Lauri provided several tips for people impacted by flooding.

“Number one, make sure if you’re in a vehicle you don’t drive through standing or running water,” he said. “If you are trapped somewhere, call 911 for assistance and the emergency operations center will provide assistance for your needs for evacuation or rescue.”

“The best thing for folks to do is to be cautious if you are in areas prone to flooding... I would ask that those residents keep an eye on the weather. If you see rising water, don’t wait until it’s in your home to evacuate.”

Centre County commissioners Mike Pipe, Mark Higgins and Steve Dershem declared that the county is in a disaster emergency.