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Environment & Science

Nearly a month’s worth of rain in three days leaves the Lehigh Valley waterlogged, again

Heavy rainfall Monocacy Creek
Christine Sexton
The Monocacy Creek in Bethlehem swells on Wednesday during heavy rainfall.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — A seemingly relentless barrage of rain keeps soaking the Lehigh Valley, inundating streets and neighborhoods.

At least 3.39 inches of rain have fallen at Lehigh Valley International Airport, the area’s major climate site, since the beginning of the month.

Average rainfall for the entire month of April is 3.67 inches, meaning we’ve seen nearly a month’s worth of rainfall in just three days.

Allentown Area April Precipitation
Created with
Iowa Environmental Mesonet
This graph shows April precipitation recorded in the Allentown area (Lehigh Valley International Airport) from 1912-2024.

According to the latest data from the National Weather Service, it’s been sopping wet since March 1, with 8.53 inches total — a departure from normal of 4.53 inches.

Since Jan. 1, the area has recorded 17.18 inches of precipitation, or 7.11 inches above normal.

A record-setting start to the year

Flood warnings remained in effect early Thursday for parts of the area, including Lehigh County.

At 4:11 a.m., gauge reports indicated flooding occurring on the Little Lehigh in Allentown.

Around the region, flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations also was reported as “imminent” as water continued to rise from the excess runoff.

The area saw 1.92 inches of rain Wednesday, shy of the record for the date of 2.04 inches set in 1975.

Flood-prone areas in Lower Macungie were closed, including Spring Creek Road. Macungie Road also was closed in the area of Krick Lane because of a tree down and flooding, and Riverbend Road was closed because of trees and wires down.

In Northampton County, the Bushkill Creek in Tatamy overtopped the cofferdam, posts on X showed.

Overall, it’s been an exceptional — and sometimes record-setting — start to the year, with daily maximum rainfall records set on March 24, March 9 and Jan. 9.

The record established Jan. 9 came just three days after a total of 5.3 inches of snow was measured at the airport, setting a record for the date, beating the 4.0 inches set in 2002.

Wet — and windy

Thousands lost power as strong winds battered the region on Wednesday.

Allentown’s Queen City Airport recorded a top wind speed of 48 mph, with Lehigh Valley International Airport hitting 47 mph.

Macungie saw gusts around 43 mph, while winds north of the area in Mount Pocono hit 53 mph around 12:13 p.m.

DeSales University ordered hundreds of students to evacuate certain residence halls and urged all others to return to their family homes in response to campuswide power outages.

Early Thursday, PPL Electric reported nearly 1,300 customers without power in Lehigh County and more than 1,400 in the dark in Northampton County.

Met-Ed reported 49 customers out in Lehigh and 100 in Northampton.

Storm Prediction Center
NWS Storm Prediction Center
This graphic shows the risk of thunderstorms in the area on Thursday.

As utilities work to get the power back on, the Lehigh Valley could see thunderstorms Thursday afternoon.

The weather service said thunder and lightning are possible, and while we’re not expecting severe weather, “small hail cannot be ruled out given the environment.”