Rainfall Turns Treacherous in School District and County

By Alicia Ygarza and Sam Valentin

Photos by Amber Brenner

“Everything is coming down to catastrophe in the Susquehanna Valley,” said Joe Calhoun, WGAL Weather reporter.

Penn Manor Superintendent, Mike Leichliter agreed, opting to close district schools Thursday because of  extensive flooding in Millersville Borough, and Conestoga and Pequea townships.  Since then, many sporting events, including the Friday night football game against L-S, has been postponed.

At 5:29 a.m., Leichliter sent an email to the Penn Manor School District saying, “We are starting with a two-hour delay. Millersville Road at Manor Avenue is closed. The Little Conestoga has flowed over the bridge. We have other roads closed through the school district while other areas are just fine. However, we have more rain coming this morning so stay tuned for a possible update around 7:00 a.m.”

Torrential rain fell on the school district this week. Photo by Amber Brenner

Flooding only got worse and students stayed glued to the TV hoping to see “Penn Manor School District, closed.”

At 6:55 a.m. Leichliter sent another email to the school district with the subject, “Penn Manor Now Closed.”

Leichliter said in the email,”We are now closed. Road closures are increasing. In addition to the other roads I reported earlier 324 is in bad shape and Conestoga Blvd is becoming part of the Susquehanna.”


The flooding began Wednesday at the high school after Tropical Storm Lee dumped a deluge of rain on the county.

“We ran wet vacuums and used mops to clean up the water,” said Penn Manor custodian Mike Weimer “The hallway from the band room to the fish pond was flooded. The orchestra room and outside the central complex was flooded. Locker rooms and the coaches room was also affected.”

The custodial staff had to wet-vac portions of the school that flooded Thursday. Photo by Amber Brenner

According to the National Weather Service Forecast Office,  the area has not experienced this much flooding since the 1972 Hurricane, Agnes, damaged Pennsylvania to the tune of more than $3 billion.”

Penn Manor teacher, Joe Herman compared the two storms.

“This storm is right there with Agnes depending on where it floods at certain spots, it has the potential to be worse.”

Around 7:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 8, WGAL reported the rain was coming from York and hitting Lancaster. Forecasters expected Millersville to get hit “badly” by the storm.

In fact the storms triggered a water main break in the borough supply and residents are on a “boil water” alert.

According to WGAL’s Weather Report, the storm was carried from East Virginia to Maryland and through Pennsylvania.

WGAL also reported that the storm caused Harrisburg’s third worst flood, after Agnes in 1972, the second worst flood was in 1936.

Harrisburg was mandated to evacuate.

The custodial staff at Penn Manor had their hands full with Tropical Storm Lee. Photo by Amber Brenner


Hershey was the worst affected area, then Harrisburg and Lancaster third of area counties.

“You can’t tell where the Conestoga ends and where the Susquehanna begins,” said one WGAL reporter Friday morning.

Lee was Agnes like dumping 7 -15 inches of rain on the Susquehanna valley.

Unfortunately the rain looks to continue until Sunday so Penn Manor is not out of the woods yet.

The football game scheduled for tonight against L-S has been postponed until Saturday at 7:00 p.m at Lampeter-Strasburg.

Other postponements include boys freshman soccer game against Elizabethtown, Girls tennis and girls field hockey, also against E-town.