How Thunderstorms Impact Pennsylvania | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara
Just over a week ago, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency sponsored a week dedicated to educating the public and bringing awareness to the severe weather patterns that impact our communities. The information discussed the ins and outs of thunderstorms, hail and flooding, and we wanted to help continue that conversation by looking at some of the ways that storms impact Pennsylvania.
Spring and summer are the most common times for thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are defined as any storm that has thunder and lightning.
A severe thunderstorm is classified as a strong storm that has thunder and lightning and contains hail that is one inch or larger in diameter and has straight-line winds of 58 miles per hour or greater.
The Main Differences That Mean a Storm Is Called “Severe”
Lightning strikes. Lightning is considered one of the most dangerous elements of a thunderstorm for various reasons, but its elusiveness has evaded scientists as they are not able to identify where or when the next strike will be. Not only does it have the ability to cause serious damage to property, such as starting a house fire or felling trees, it has also been reported that about 300 injuries each year are due to lightning strikes.
Hail damage. Hail that comes in a severe thunderstorm is at least one inch or larger in diameter, many times much larger than this. Couple this size with the speed at which it falls (up to 72 miles per hour), and it is a recipe for significant damage, especially to uncovered vehicles, people or pets that are not adequately protected, and the sidings and roofs of houses.
Flash flooding. It is a common misconception that flooding can only happen in designated flood plains. Flash flooding is possible at any time and under the right conditions, it can create a life-threatening scenario in mere minutes. If there is heavy rainfall, a backed-up storm drain or overflowing roadside ditches, these flooded roadways can do damage to vehicles and also have the potential to carry away a car in the tide.
Thunderstorms can be a serious problem for business- and home-owners. If you have been impacted by a storm, we are here to help. Contact us to see how our team and techniques can get your property back to pre-storm condition.