Thursday, September 08, 2011

The best laid plans...

We tried. We really, really tried.

We left he Aerie at 10:30 AM with the best of intentions of going to New Jersey. I consulted Penn DOT's 511 web site and Terry had been watching the news on TV. All said the roads were passable except for a stretch of I-80 near Bloomsburg but they were setting up detours around that spot. Heading east on Route 6 was out of the question as a large swath of that was closed. We didn't check Route 17 but that too is close to the Susquehanna and has no levees to protect it. South and east seemed our best bet.

[UPDATE: Terry just found (5:00 PM) that a section of Route 17 was closed near Waverly, NY and covered by water near Binghamton, NY.]

Before we left, I emptied the rain gauge. There were 3.1 inches of water in it since Wednesday at around 3 PM when I had dumped 6 inches out. Make it a little over 9 inches of rain since last Thursday.

Well... We went down Route 15 to I-180 at Williamsport. The rivers there were very, very high but not breaching the the levees...yet. A little further past Williamsport the town of Montoursville was under three or four feet of water but I-180 was okay. When we got to the interchange with I-80 though we were not allowed on the interstate. We tried heading northeast on the back roads only to find many of them were also closed. We attempted several routes only to find ourselves heading toward Wilkes Barre where, according to the radio, there were multiple closures. At that point we decided to head home. Even that was troublesome. There was a time when we weren't sure we'd even be able to get home.

In total we spent over 5 hours, traveled 210 miles and ended up seeing parts of Pennsylvania we hadn't seen before only to end up back at the Aerie. We are not pleased.

It would have been nice to attend Danielle and Alex's wedding, but...

The radio out of Bloomsburg was saying this flooding will be the worst in 40 years. In August of 1972 Hurricane Agnes came up the Chesapeake and stalled over the upper reaches of the Susquehanna watershed. The river crested at 30.2 feet in Bloomsburg. They expect the river to reach 30.8 feet sometime tomorrow. Flooding is already extensive in areas where levees were not constructed after Agnes.

Terry and I were married in New Jersey the weekend after Agnes (we still had strong winds on that Saturday) and relatives from the Wilkes Barre area couldn't make it. Now the situation is reversed: we are in PA and can't get to NJ for a wedding. C'est la vie. What goes around comes around.

More on the flooding here.


Rev. Paul said...

If I didn't know the Bible predicted that weather would continue to grow worse, I'd be seriously worried.

I'm sorry you couldn't get to the wedding, but am very very glad you made it home okay.

TenMile said...

Sorry about the wedding. Happy about the ability to make home port. With roads blocked, even at a distance, worry about supplies for X days.