Winter rain brings minor flooding

February 13, 2008 8:55:59 PM PST
Drenching rains and melting ice created some pretty damp and dreary conditions today, as well as flood warnings. The rain seemed to be relentless, feeding water falls from the hills above Lambertville into the raging Swan Creek below.

The south end of town was literally swamped three times over the last several years.

So when people in that river town hear word of flood watches and warnings, they get nervous.

"I heard on the news there were flood warnings, so I just parked my car. That was the first thing I did," Terri Rock explained as she stood over the creek. "Look at the creek. It's high. It's high compared to what it usually is. But it's still got a way to go."

Alicia Milosz found a silver lining to the high waters.

"If it were colder, " Milosz said. "We'd see about three feet of snow right now, so I don't mind the rain."

A stretch of Route 29 in West Amwell near the flea market is always a challenge in heavy rain.

Cars and trucks blasted through the ponding waters. At times the spray would completely cover windshields - not very safe for drivers.

Though it poured all day, "Dave" the mailman wasn't complaining. After all, the postal creed about not stopping through hail, sleet, or rain offers some expertise.

"Yesterday was worse," Dave said. "It was so cold. But when it's wet, it is relatively warm. It's not bad at all."

In Collegeville, Deputy Fire Chief Jay Murphy kept a close eye on the Perkiomen Creek tonight.

"What we're worrying on now is Allentown got over 3 inches of rain and that all has to come down, so it's going to end up down here," said Murphy.

An unrelenting rain swelled the creek this afternoon. Flood planes filled and the water threatened homes and businesses along the creek like the Collegeville Inn.

"As long as it doesn't raise another 8 feet or so, we're fine," said Shawn O'Connell.

The rising water came within a few feet of Dennis Stong's home.

"I'm a little surprised that's it's as high as it is..because we didn't get that much rain. Usually it has to rain four or five days straight to see it like this," he said.

But it appeared the worst was over. The National Weather Service says the Perkiomen crested at 12 feet just before 7:00 p.m. That's a foot above flood stage.