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Pennsylvania, Preparing For Severe Flooding, Declares ‘Level 1′ Alert

(Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett at the PEMA operations center on Thursday afternoon.  Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett at the PEMA operations center on Thursday afternoon. Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - For the first time since September 11th, 2001, Pennsylvania’s emergency management operations center is at “level one” status, as the state copes with some of the worst flooding in decades.

At the PEMA operations center in suburban Harrisburg today, Governor Tom Corbett said the focus right now is on the central part of the state, along the Susquehanna River.

“The situation is going to get worse in the next day as the rivers and streams continue to rise until they do crest.  Almost every town along the Susquehanna River has experienced flooding,” the governor told reporters.

Predicted river crests along the Susquehanna are coming close to the catastrophic levels of the Hurricane Agnes storm of 39 years ago.

NWS Flooding Forecast:  Susquehanna River

NWS Flooding Forecast: Schuylkill River

Right now, the worst of it is in Wilkes-Barre and points north, but the water is heading south.  Portions of Harrisburg and other communities along the Susquehanna are being evacuated (see related story), and efforts are being made to protect the governor’s residence, which sits on the Harrisburg waterfront.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo

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