Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg predicted three-to-six inches of rain yesterday. He was right. "We had 4.15 inches at the airport," Lundberg says. Areas in Bucks and Montgomery counties got more than double that, with reports of eight-to-ten inches of rain falling Wednesday.
The biggest flooding concern right now appears to be in the Easton area. The Delaware River is expected to crest at 7pm at 28.5 feet, which is at the upper end of the moderate flooding category. The Lehigh River at Walnutport crested just after 3am at 13.1 feet and in Lehighton at 14.1 feet, which was considered to be major flooding there. The Lehigh reached its highest level in Bethlehem at 8 this morning at 20.6 feet, or moderate flood levels. Smaller waterways like the Jordan and Little Lehigh creeks have reported only minor flooding issues.
Power outages were a problem this morning after remnants of Ida whipped through Wednesday. 2906 PPL customers in Lehigh and Northampton counties were in the dark as of 6am. Nearly 1900 of them were Lehigh County residents. First Energy reports 1627 of its Lehigh Valley customers were without power this morning. 1342 of them live in Northampton County.
New Jersey remains under a state of emergency, with Gov. Phil Murphy deploying emergency response teams across the state. It's not clear when it will be lifted. NJ Transit suspended rail service, with the exception of the Atlantic City Line and was not clear about when it would be reinstated. Officials across the state are urging drivers to use caution as the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved out of the area early this morning.
One person is confirmed dead and two others are missing in Passaic, New Jersey after massive flooding from Ida. "Buildings can be repaired. Property can be replaced. But loss of life, you can't bring that back," says Hector Lora, who is Passaic's mayor. A 70-year-old man died after getting swept away by flood waters as firefighters helped rescue his family from a flooded car. Emergency crews are still searching for two people also seen being swept away.
Hersheypark and ZooAmerica are closed again today due to the impact from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Officials say the decision was made for the safety of their guests and team members. Officials say they plan on reopening tomorrow.
Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 3100 new cases of COVID-19 to the state's overall total, which is now 1,303,468. There were zero COVID-related deaths reported by the state Wednesday. Right now, 1835 people are hospitalized with the virus, 482 of whom are in the intensive care unit.
St. Luke's Anderson campus is officially a Level II trauma center. The Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation has approved the hospital's accreditation. Level II means the hospital has a full spectrum of specialists on staff. In order to reach Level I, which is the highest level, trauma research and surgical residency programs must be established.
Pennsylvania says $2.6 billion in General Fund revenue was collected in August. That's $135.5 million, or 5.6 percent, more than expected. Fiscal year-to-date collections stand at $5.3 billion, or 2.6 percent above initial estimates.
Former President George W. Bush will travel to Shanksville to deliver remarks on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Bush announced this week that he and former First Lady Laura Bush will be on-hand for commemoration events at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County. The event will be closed to the public, open only to a few invited guests and the families of those who were aboard Flight 93.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is detailing the state's plans for COVID-19 booster shots, should they receive federal approval. The plan would be to launch booster shot distribution on September 20th, pending that green light from the CDC. Murphy notes there is a difference between booster shots and what are being called "third-doses" for the immunocompromised. Those eligible have been able to receive their third-dose since August 14th and 41,000 New Jersey residents have already done so.
Unvaccinated students in New Jersey could be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing. Gov. Phil Murphy's administration floated the idea on Wednesday. The program would be optional since parents and guardians have to give consent before their child is tested. Meantime, teachers and school staff are required to get vaccinated or will be subject to weekly testing.
Washington Nationals vice president and former Phillies star Bob Boone has resigned because he did not want to follow the Nationals' COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all non-uniformed employees. The 73-year-old Boone has been with Washington since 2005. He was a four-time all-star during his 19 year career with the Phillies, Angels and Royals.