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Mother Nature puts damper on Earth Day activities

April 23, 2006|By DON AINES

A number of Earth Day cleanups and events were postponed or canceled Saturday, but the Tri-State area received something it needed even more - a soaking rain.

In Waynesboro, Pa., weather observer Todd Toth said the rain that began Friday had dropped 1.64 inches of precipitation there as of 2 p.m., bringing the rainfall for April to date to 3.04 inches. The National Weather Service was predicting a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms in the region Saturday and today, which could bring precipitation to close to April's average of 3.5 inches, Toth said.

Rainfall for the year was 9.34 inches as of Saturday afternoon, but Toth said that still is more than 3 inches below the average of 12.4 inches by April 22.

According to i4weather.net, the Web site of Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer, 1.46 inches of rain had fallen since Friday, bringing the total for April to 2.53 inches.

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"I think we've got even chances all the way through Thursday" for rain, said Mike Connelly, a hydrometeorologist technician with the National Weather Service in State College, Pa.

The rain was the apparent cause of rock slides on Pa. 16 near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. A Franklin County 911 dispatcher reported receiving several calls of rocks on the road.

The rain did not discourage more than 300 people from taking part in Saturday's three-mile walk at Antietam National Battlefield to raise money for the fight against multiple sclerosis, according to organizers.

Saturday was the 18th annual National and Global Youth Service Day, but this part of the nation and globe was getting a soaking rain, so the neighborhood cleanup program was rescheduled for Saturday, April 29, said Larry Bayer, the manager for the Department of Community Development for Hagerstown.

Other outdoor events that did not go off as planned due to the rain included the community Earth Day cleanup at the Taymentasachta Environmental Center in Greencastle, Pa., and the Kite Fly, Earth Celebration Day and yard sale at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro, Pa., organizers said.

Earth Celebration Day and the Kite Fly was rescheduled for today from 1 to 5 p.m., Renfrew Institute Director Melodie Anderson-Smith said. The yard sale was rescheduled for Saturday, April, 29, she said.

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