Record Rains

The two-day rain totals didn't quite approach the levels of Floyd, in 1999, but the final tallies resembled snow accumulations and did break two long-standing records in Philadelphia.

The 2.99 inches that fell overnight broke the old record of 1.79 for an Oct. 1 set back in 1902. Remember, this is the dry season around here.

Yesterday's 2.41 topped the 2.38 standard set in 1900, bringing the two-day total to 5.30 at Philadelphia International Airport. Floyd is in the clubhouse at 6.98, 6.63 of that one one day, Sept. 16.

The rivers haven't yet crested, but the early indications are that the vestiges of Nicole did not match the devastation of Floyd.

Believe it or not, the regions was quite lucky this time around. For one, as Tony Gigi at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly pointed out, the rain came in two batches.

A break of several hours between rounds of heavy rain gave the ground a chance to digest the first blob of water.

The biggest factor was the summer dry spell that lapped into September. Coming into the storm, stream levels were near to below normal. That made a huge difference in the severity of the flooding.