Already saturated, Delaware Valley could face floods as Hurricane Florence pushes northward

Kristen Johanson
September 09, 2018 - 1:38 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As rain continues to drench the Philadelphia area — and with Hurricane Florence threatening the coastline — National Weather Service officials say the storm's impact could cause some major issues for the Delaware Valley. 

A very wet summer mixed with heavy rain the past few days has saturated the ground, filling streams, creeks and rivers, which could be problematic later this week.

"A lot of times this can lead to flooding of low-lying areas near the coast or near the back bays," said Alex Staarmann, National Weather Service meteorologist. "Once it is in inland and it kind of starts drifting northward and back out to sea, that can definitely have an impact on our flooding throughout here."

The region is currently under a coastal flood warning.

But with Florence looming in the Atlantic, Staarmann warns it could get much worse.

RELATED: Florence becomes a hurricane, takes aim at US Southeast

"The combination with the coastal flooding, the wind pushing water on shore and into the Delaware Bay and up the Delaware River, that with the combination of the heavy rain we are getting," could lead to harsher conditions, he added. "Similar to a hurricane and storm surge, where the wind keeps blowing and pushing the water, and piling it up on the shore, eventually that causes the water level to rise."

He advised people to keep up-to-date with the forecast, and keep an eye on Florence.

"Not to focus on where it makes landfall, because even if it makes landfall in the Carolinas, we can still receive significant impacts from it," he noted.