Pa. on high alert thanks to flooding
The Delaware Valley and much of the Northeast continued to get walloped by the one-two punch from Hurricane Irene and the latest storm as flooding caused road closures, mass transit delays and evacuations all across the region.
The flooding closed several roadways Thursday morning and afternoon, including portions of Roosevelt Boulevard and Interstate 76, resulting in a headache for commuters. SEPTA was forced to suspend service on six of its Regional Rail lines until Friday due to high water and debris.
The devastation in central and northeastern Pennsylvania prompted Gov. Tom Corbett to raise the state’s alert to its highest possible level for emergency response — the highest the commonwealth has seen the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Roughly 100,000 people were evacuated in the Wilkes-Barre area, and at least three deaths had been attributed to the storm as of Thursday, officials said.
“We face a public health emergency, because sewage treatment plants are underwater and no longer working,’’ Corbett said from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Harrisburg. “Flood water is toxic and polluted. If you don’t have to be in it, keep out.’’