Tropical Storm Agnes

The wrecked Engleside bridge at Lancaster. LNP Archived Photo

Several days of heavy rains led to flooding in parts of Lancaster County this week, and Monday set a new record for July 23.

At the Millersville University Weather Information Center, rainfall totaled 2.39 inches on Monday, eclipsing the previous record of 1.59 inches, set in 1997.

But in the broader scheme of things, daily rainfall this week ranked far down the list of the wettest days in local history.

MU, which has been keeping weather records for 104 years, lists 46 dates when 3 or more inches of rain fell here since 1914.

— Far and away, the biggest one-day rainfall total was generated by Tropical Storm Agnes, which sat over eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York State for three days. Flooding took 72 lives and caused billions of dollars in damage.

On June 22, 1972, Agnes dropped 8.46 inches of rain on Lancaster County, leading to 10 deaths here and causing major flooding and damage in many parts of the county.

— The second biggest total was 6.6 inches that fell on Sept. 18, 1927. That deluge resulted in the drowning of a child and forced the rescues of motorists from trees and residents from the roofs of their homes in Paradise, according to newspaper reports at the time.

— The third biggest total was just eight years ago, when officially 6 inches fell on Sept. 30, 2010, though localized totals ranged from 3.5 to 7 inches around the county. The torrential downpours forced schools to close early, prompted a state of emergency in Lancaster County and resulted in dozens of water rescues.

Worse flooding had occurred a year later, when the remnants of two storms — Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee — swept over the county a week apart. Irene dumped more than 3 inches of rain here in late August, and Lee followed up with nearly 9 inches over four days.

The biggest one-day total during that stretch was 3.11 inches on Sept. 7, 2011, ranking it well down the list of wettest individual days here.