Montgomery EMA monitored flood on Christmas day
MONTGOMERY-December 25th is usually thought of as a day of to stay cozy at home and enjoy the holiday with family. But during the last few days of 2020, unusual weather caused flooding in Montgomery. The specifics of the precipitation were reported on the Montgomery Borough Emergency Management Agency Facebook page during the event. The town got seventeen inches of snow overnight on December 16. They posted a link to their Snowcam so that residents that didn’t want to go outside after dark to measure the snow could simply check online. The Snowcam shows an illuminated measuring stick that’s printed with large numbers so that it can be easily read.
A brief period of warming followed causing the snow to melt which was abruptly followed by 2.8 inches of rain by Christmas morning. The result was that the Susquehanna and many of the local creeks went above their banks causing some minor flooding in Montgomery on Christmas Day. The Little League field was completely covered and flood waters stretched to the bridge that separates the Little League field from the Carnival grounds.
For seven decades, the Montgomery Borough Emergency Management Agency has been there to help the town’s residents with assistance, warnings, and information in times of major disasters as well as smaller incidents that cause concern. This past Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were no exception. Warnings and updates were posted on Christmas Eve. As the river rose on December 25th, the members of the EMA monitored the water levels and reported them throughout the day on their social media pages so that the town’s citizens could stay informed.
According to the EMA Facebook page, the river floods at twenty feet, and Ellis Parkway and South Main Street floods when the river reaches twenty-two feet. According to a post they made on Christmas Day, the river was at 16.5 feet by 6 am, 15.3 feet by 7 am, 16.6 feet at 9 am, 17.3 feet at 10 am, 17.9 feet by 11 am, 18.3 feet at noon, 18.9 feet at 1 pm, 19.5 feet at 2 pm, 19.8 feet at 3 pm, 19.9 feet at 4 pm, and 20 feet at 5 pm when it finally crested. The EMA reported that it was still 20 feet at 6 pm, and that it dropped to 19.8 feet at 9 pm when they stopped the reports as the river receded.
Their faithful reporting allowed citizens to stay informed while celebrating Christmas at home.
While flooding doesn’t often happen during the winter months, Montgomery did experience a severe flood in 1996 when a period of heavy snow was quickly followed by a huge rainfall.