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Urban and small-stream flooding is expected in Berks County

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Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 2:56 pm | Updated: 3:25 pm, Wed Sep 7, 2011.

According to The National Weather Service (NWS), the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have mixed with a cold front and are expected to continue bringing heavy rains to the Berks County area over the next two days.

NWS is predicting rainfall amounts ranging from 1 - 3 inches over the next two days.

This new rainfall in combination with the already saturated ground from Hurricane Irene and the 4-plus inches of rain that has already fallen across Berks County is expected to lead to small creek and stream and urban flooding throughout the area.

The Schuylkill River at Berne is currently at 11.41 feet and is expected to crest at 12.4 feet on Friday, Sept 9. This crest will put the Schuylkill at Berne in what is considered to be "minor flood stage," which ranges from 12 - 14 feet.

The Schuylkill River at Reading is at 10.77 feet and is expected to crest at 13.5 feet, which is 1 foot below "action stage."

The Manatawny Creek in Berks County is in flood stage. NWS can provide no specific depth or forecast because it's not one of its forecast points.

Current actions should consist of reviewing emergency plans and focusing on staffing and equipment availability today through Saturday morning. The NWS expect winds to be light in the 5 - 10 mph range, which lessens the likelihood of widespread downed trees and power lines.

At the Department of Emergency Services, we will be looking at staffing for the time of expected storm arrival and posting for additional staff where necessary.

Our emergency operations center is not presently anticipated to be activated, but that could change depending on future updates.

On a personal level, please help to share with your family and friends the need to have emergency supplies on hand (food, water, medications, etc.) for at least 72 hours.

There are a lot of us out there, and if we each remind 2-3 people and ask that they remind 2-3 people, etc. the effect on overall community preparedness can be highly magnified.

Individuals in low lying areas should have a "go bag" ready and be prepared to move quickly if flooding appears likely. This means having a place to go pre-planned, and having a plan for what to do with pets. Also, please remember to check early with friends or family who may be in need of additional support such as those who are elderly, disabled, or economically challenged.

Thank you for your help in spreading a message of preparedness in your organization and in the community at large.

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