Authorities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have issued warnings about a severe storm that is poised to bring heavy rainfall and expected flooding from Tuesday through Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has placed the area under a Flood Watch and Coastal Flood Warning in anticipation of the storm, which is expected to move in Tuesday afternoon.
Forecasters have identified the area as being at a “significant” risk for substantial impacts due to rain, wind, and flooding.
According to the National Weather Service’s regional office, the storm could unleash 1 to 3 inches of rain, with the possibility of up to 4 inches in certain areas. The heaviest downpours are expected on Tuesday night.
Areas along the Delaware River are predicted to see rising water levels in the New Hope-Lambertville area.
Ponding from heavy rain could happen in low-lying area.
Adding to the concerns are forecasts of strong to damaging south to southeast winds from Tuesday evening into the night.
Strong winds raise the chances of tree damage and power outages, with gusts reaching as high as 55 mph, forecasters said.
“Here’s the catch – the ground is already saturated, and with melting snow, there’s a risk of potential flooding. With these conditions, there’s also a chance of power outages for an extended period,” the Bucks County Emergency Management Agency said.
Upper Makefield Township, New Hope Borough, and the City of Lambertville in Hunterdon County are also preparing for rising river levels, though the river is expected to remain below flood stage.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a State of Emergency starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday in advance of the storm.
The state will deploy resources to assist with any emergency responses.
“This storm will exacerbate the effects of the inclement conditions we experienced in December and this past weekend and may precede another storm Friday night. As always, I urge all New Jerseyans – including residents in our coastal and riverine communities – to follow all safety protocols and remain off the roads unless absolutely necessary,” Murphy said.
City of Lambertville Officer-In-Charge Lt. Robert Brown, who is the emergency management coordinator, wrote to residents that they should take steps to prepare, including considering moving valuables to higher ground, prepare a “to go” bag, and charge devices in case of power outages.
PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll, along with officials from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, are advising against unnecessary travel during the storm.
“This will be a challenging event with rapidly changing conditions, and we ask the public to avoid unnecessary travel if possible. If you must travel, please exercise caution, check 511PA.com for the latest conditions, and give our crews space to safely and effectively respond to the storm,” said Carroll.
Motorists are being advised not to attempt crossing roads submerged in water, as even shallow, fast-flowing water can sweep a vehicle away.
PEMA Director Randy Padfield highlighted the storm’s potential for significant flooding in parts of eastern Pennsylvania. He stressed the importance of being weather aware and having evacuation plans ready.
Authorities remind residents to never drive around barricades or signs on closed roads, adhering to the mantra: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”