ACCUWEATHER By Bill Deger, Meteorologist
Major flooding is expected well inland across the Northeast in the wake of Irene, with several large rivers likely to remain above flood stage for days.
All-time records could even be approached on a few rivers, rivaling stages recorded during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
Heavy rain from Irene will continue to soak millions across the eastern mid-Atlantic through today, expanding north across New England into tonight. By early Monday, Irene's heaviest rain will have exited to the north into southeastern Canada.
Rainfall totals will continue to be excessive and impressive. Many areas from the mid-Atlantic into New England will get 3 to 6 inches of rain, with localized amounts above a foot.
Similar rainfall totals were observed on Saturday as Irene passed near eastern North Carolina and the Delmarva region.
The heavy rain is the last thing many locations across the Northeast want to see. Record rainfall has already caused flooding headaches across the region during the month of August.
While flooding along streets and in low-lying areas will be worse in the interim, river flooding will worsen in the hours and days after the rain stops falling.
This hydrograph from the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia indicates that major and near-record flooding is forecast. For a larger version, visit the AHPS website.
The Schuylkill River in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Passaic River in northern New Jersey and the Winooski River in northern New England are among the waterways that will likely experience major flooding.
Current forecasts indicate that some rivers and creeks may approach all-time records. The Perkiomen Creek near Graterford, Pa., could come within a foot of the all-time record of 18.3 feet, while the Hoosic River near Bennington, Vt., will approach the record of 12.0 feet.
While millions will experience significant flooding today, those along creeks and rivers should not hesitate to head to higher ground to escape rising floodwaters.
Roadways around and over these waterways will flood as well. Never drive through floodwaters and always heed the advice of officials and barricades.