Local emergency management officials will be keeping a close eye on French Creek in Meadville, which is predicted to crest at just below flood stage levels early Thursday morning.
However, as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, no warning or watch had been issued.
The latest forecast from the National Weather Service on Tuesday predicted that French Creek would reach 13.8 feet just after midnight tonight. That’s just 0.2 feet below official flood stage.
An earlier forecast on Tuesday had predicted that French Creek would surpass the flood stage, hitting 15.9 feet. But that number was dropped later in the day.
Normally, the National Weather Service revises its predictions only once a day, according to Don Bovard of the Crawford County Office of Emergency Services. But, he said, on Tuesday, “They did it two or three times. We’ll know more (on Wednesday) morning. But right now we didn’t get as much rain as they thought we might get.” Just over one inch of rain fell in the region Tuesday, and less than a half-inch more was expected overnight, NWS said.
An updated flood forecast is expected this morning.
“We’ll monitor conditions and if need be we will put out a warning,” said Bovard. “We’re hoping for the best and keeping our fingers crossed that it stays below the flood stage.”
If French creek hits the 14-foot stage, flooding begins along Cussewago Creek near Race Street in Meadville’s Fifth Ward. Residents in Asbury Manor West Mobile Home Park, and those in the Ellsworth Park area near Cussewago Creek, would be the first affected. If waters continue to rise, Asbury Manor East, Rogers Ferry Road area, Race Street and Meadville’s Mead Avenue at Bicentennial Park would likely be affected.
Historical crests of French Creek at Meadville
If French Creek at Meadville crests at 13.8 feet, as predicted, it would be the ninth highest level since records have been kept, National Weather Service reports. Here are Meadville’s 10 worst flood in the NWS records:
17.60 feet, Jan. 1, 1959
17.05 feet, April 1, 1947
16.36 feet, Sept. 10, 2004
15.52 feet, Jan. 20, 1996
15.15 feet, March 16, 2007
15.10 feet, Dec. 31, 1990
15.04 feet, Jan. 9, 1998
15.02 feet, Feb. 7, 2008
13.55 feet, Jan. 5, 1990
13.30 feet, Jan. 1, 1993