The outage total for Met-Ed customers in Berks County was down to about 10,000 Wednesday, off the peak of nearly 30,000 during the fast and furious transit Tuesday of Tropical Storm Isaias.

Sunshine and comfortable temperatures greeted Berks residents cleaning up and dealing with insurance companies. The temperature reached the mid-80s Wednesday with low humidity.

On top of the cleanup, the reports continue for downed limbs and power lines, mainly in eastern Berks, though those ended by early afternoon.

Met-Ed expected full restoration of all customers by Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Schuylkill River crested early Wednesday at Penn Street well short of the forecast of 15.5 feet by hydrologists with the National Weather Service.

The crest was 10.89 feet, according to the hydrology website.

At Penn Street, typically a level of 18 feet results in minor flooding. 

However, downstream at Pottstown, the level was 15.16 feet and in the minor flooding zone. There were no reports of damage.

The situation was worse in Norristown, where the river crested at 20.55 feet, which is considered major flooding. 

A National Weather Service flood warning was expected to expire Wednesday night for flooding on the river from Pottstown to Philadelphia.

More rain on horizon?

The AccuWeather forecast is beginning to look worrisome for waterlogged Berks starting with Thursday afternoon.

Partly cloudy conditions are likely to start the day with thunderstorms manifesting in the region during the afternoon, continuing into the evening, according to AccuWeather. 

On Friday, expect mostly cloudy and unsettled conditions ahead of a stormy afternoon and evening.

The total rainfall projected for Berks for the Thursday-Friday period is a half-inch to an inch. Any direct hits from thunderstorms would likely trigger flooding with the saturated grounds.

The weekend looks dry with highs in the mid-80s both days, according to AccuWeather.

Then 90-degree days return to the forecast by the middle of next week. The count of 90-degree days for the year is 29.

History repeating?

Suddenly this year is beginning to feel like the record breaking 2018: Normal first half with deluges the rule starting with July.

It's unlikely that there would be another run at a record year so soon after 2018, but this month has potential to become a superperformer with 9.12 inches already recorded at Reading Regional Airport, the official weather service site in Berks. 

It's already the fourth-wettest August in 151 years of records. With that kind of launching pad, the sky's the limit, said Berks weather historian Jeffrey R. Stoudt, a retired meteorologist.

Between the regular thunderstorms and an active Atlantic hurricane system, the chances for more deluges are there, he said. Berks has already been visited by Fay and Isaias.

The August two years ago ended with 14.81 inches of rainfall at the airport, a close second to August 1955's 14.85, which saw two deluges from hurricanes Connie and Diane, both category 5 storms when they made landfall along the Southeast coast.

Those months are the second- and third-highest totals for all months, behind the Agnes month of June 1972, which had 15.73 inches.        

"It seems very plausible there will be another tropical cyclone hit at a shore near Berks yet this August, such that could delivery 6 inches or more of rain as did Diane in 1955," Stoudt said. "That is in addition to a few ordinary thunderstorm events that can be expected. (There's) potential for the 2018 and 1955 totals to be washed away."
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