Flooding reported as creeks, rivers overflow

Chopper 6 HD flew over floodwaters in Chadds Ford, Pa.

March 11, 2011 4:27:10 PM PST
Minor flooding was reported in our area Friday as people kept a close eye on creeks and streams.

Many of the flood warning have been cancelled, and people around the region are breathing a sigh of relief.

For several hours Friday morning, Route 1 South was closed between Route 202 and Creek Road in Chadds Ford as the Brandywine overflowed its banks.

But by late afternoon, traffic was getting through again, and there was no major flooding damage.

And that wasn't the only spot where residents and authorities were breathing a sigh of relief.

"We always have our sandbags," said Mike Rose. "We are always ready to go."

At the Manayunk Brewing Company, Mike Rose and his staff prepared for the worst and spent a tense night watching the rising Schuylkill.

"We woke up this morning and saw the news that we were in the clear. It's a sigh of relief. No question about it," said Rose.

I spoke to emergency management officials in other traditional flooding spots, including Darby Boro, Langhorne and Middletown Township. They all said they felt they dodged a bullet and were very happy to be putting the sandbags away.

And here on River Road in Shawmont Valley, though residents did have to drive through some shallow standing water, they were also relieved that water hadn't raised high enough to cause any damage to their homes.

"I've been here going on five years and this really isn't anything," said one homeowner. "The other two times, like last month and a couple months ago that's when it was a lot. It came up into my yard."

The clean up continues for areas most affected by the cresting rivers, including Kelly Drive near Midvale where crews are working to get traffic moving again after the roadway was partially flooded by the Schuylkill River.

RELATED: Check the latest warnings from AccuWeather

And although there were no reports of snarled traffic, people in Easton, Pennsylvania were amazed at how fast the water was rising on the riverfront.

William Karr is one of a trio of rowers from Lafayette College who came to check out the water at the riverfront in Easton Friday, and after getting a good look couldn't help but be in awe.

"It's really unbelievable to me. I mean there's supposed to be a dam there and you just don't see it," said Chris Murphy.

"It's a lot of water," said Barbara Harper. "We've seen more in this area, but I guess it hasn't crested yet."

Cresting is not expected to happen until around 2:00am Saturday morning. In the meantime, levels are getting higher, and Easton's riverfront and the raging water have been something of a tourist attraction.

"This is just crazy. I've been out here when the rivers have actually been at their normal level so it's remarkable to see how much the water's come up," said Brian Dawkins.

Farther south on the Delaware, some flooding has begun.

Visitors at one Canal Park in Williams Township say it took only an hour and a half for one building to go from dry land to being surrounded by water.

"We came through and we saw it and we had to stop and take some pictures. It's amazing how fast the water is rising here," said Aaron Pengelly.

In Riegelsville the water's moving fast and officials are preparing for some minor flooding, but are relying on recently rebuilt locks along the canal to limit that.

"They now have floodgates at each section along the canal which helps stabilize the pressure between the canal and the river," explains Dave Gerstenberg, from the Emergency Management Office.

Meanwhile, along the Delaware River in New Hope, the flooding forecast was dialed back even though the river wasn't expected to crest until Saturday. By Friday morning the water rose to within feet of the bridge connecting New Hope and Lambertville, New Jersey.

RELATED: Check river and creek levels in your area

The crest is expected to be just at flood stage for the Delaware River at New Hope.

In New Jersey, the weather service says there's moderate and minor flooding around the northern and central parts of the state.

This, as flooding was blamed for the death of a Pennsylvania man whose car was swept away by the rising waters.

Schyulkill County Coroner Joseph Lipsett said 74-year-old David Sallada was killed Thursday night after he drove around barricades blocking a water-covered road. Sallada's car was swept into the Swatara Creek in Pine Grove, about 75 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Two state troopers pulled Sallada from the submerged vehicle, but he'd already died.

Rainfall totals ranged from 1.5" around the city to about 4" in the Poconos.