Flooding concerns rain down on residents

March 9, 2011 8:39:28 PM PST
It's not snow. That's a plus, for most. However, the storm system that could have amounted to a good deal of snow will, instead, amount to a good deal of rain. That is a minus, for most.

Dan Margo and Randy Bishop who run Peter Wallace Ltd, an antiques store in Lambertville, are ones of the many not anticipating this latest batch of wet weather.

Their store sits right on the river.

After being flooded out 3 times in the last several years, they're not taking any chances and on Wednesday began to pack up the basement and first floor of the shop

since the latest projections mean they'll be underwater. "Which will mean our basement will be flooded and that's without any additional rain or runoff," Dan Margo said.

"You have to be ready. There's no sense in waiting for them to say 'Oh my God, there's a problem. It's too late,'" Randy Bishop said.

At this point, emergency management officials are expecting things won't be that bad.

"We may get some minor street flooding, the parking lots, the Lambertville station and some property along Lambert Lane will be impacted," Emergency Management Director David Burd said.

Those properties include Coryell's Ferry Apartments where workers were prepping by moving the contents of the tenants' garages off the ground - just in case.

The river right in front of the apartments has already swamped the footbridge leading to Lewis Island.

"Provided shelving above where the water should get to and they can store everything above that and we're giving them a hand moving it up out of what potentially is a flooded area," Bill Corboy of Coryell's Ferry Apartments said.

We're professional flood emergency crews now

Tania Finch lives across the Delaware in New Hope where riverfront residents are also starting to prepare.

"Just got one pushing everything out of the basement now I'm going to take everything out of the backyard and move it up," New Hope resident Mark Steven said.

"You love the river, you deal with the good and the bad and take it as it comes," Brad Finch of New Hope said.

Over in Raubsville, Pa. Garry Carlbon keeps a chart on his garage door of just how high the Delaware River rose during previous floods.

Garry says the first time he flooded out, he saw a lot of water going down the river. During the ensuing floods, he says saw a lot of money going down the drain.

"My flood insurance went up every year until he raised [the home], but it costs you a lot of money to raise, so now our flood insurance is down, but I'm in the hole for lifting," Carlbon said.

Still, Garry's recently elevated home should fare well. There's a bit more worry down river, though.

The National Weather Service says, so far, it seems Riegelsville and surrounding areas will likely get hit hardest with flooding. Managers and employees at the Riegelsville Inn say that could translate into a lot of work in the coming days.

"I know a lot of people are really concerned right now. If it starts coming up everything that's in the basement and first floor needs to go up to the second floor," Beth Brader of the Riegelsville Inn said.

Meantime, up in Easton, they're pretty concerned about the Delaware River. But they're more concerned about the Lehigh River.

"We have a Lehigh Drive along the Lehigh River that floods, even though the houses don't flood, you can't get in or out of the houses, so we want to make sure they have enough food for the rest of the day, couple days at least, supply and the rest of it is just wait and see," Easton Mayor Sal Panto said.

Back in Lambertville, police, fire and public works are on alert and a shelter site has been identified if the flooding turns serious.

"We're prepared if we need to go there, but hopefully we won't have to exercise that," Lambertville Mayor Dave Delvecchio said.