With Tropical Storm Ida on the horizon, Lebanon County is having a sinking feeling.
The county is a hotspot for sinkholes, and Ida is creating the perfect conditions for many to form.
“Ida’s track is coming up from the southwest to the northeast and is really running up some of our limestone belts,” said Rose-Anna Behr, senior geoscientist with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Be Prepared: Tropical Storm Ida could dump half a foot of rain in central Pennsylvania midweek
The storm is set to hit southcentral Pa. Wednesday after midnight and is expected to drop six to 10 inches of rain into Thursday morning.
Lebanon County is riddled with “karst” areas – the landscape over sinkhole-prone rock formations such as limestone, dolostone and marble.
According to Behr, the storm could “pressure wash” sinkholes open that have been loosened up during the summer.
After the storm, sinkholes will be a problem in Lebanon County, but local authorities are going to have a myriad of weather-related issues, such as flooding, bridge scouring and soil slides.
“The geological issues we have in Lebanon County is one thing, but this weather event is something that will impact all of the southcentral county,” PennDOT District Press Officer Dave Thompson said.
Although it may be too late to get sinkhole insurance before Ida arrives, to prevent property damage Behr recommends installing longer downspout extenders to get the water farther away. Also watch for water that is pooling up but not rising.