'100-year flood' hits parts of Bucks County as storm dumps torrential rain

The storms prompted a rare "flash flood emergency" warning from the National Weather Service.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Parts of our region were swamped by a series of storms on Monday that the National Weather Service called a rare "flash flood emergency."

According to forecasters, Monday's storms dumped 6 to 10 inches of rain in just 3 to 4 hours, swelling the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Burlington County, New Jersey.

"Widespread and life-threatening flash flooding is occurring. This is an extremely dangerous situation," the weather service's Monday afternoon warning said. "Do not venture out unless it is an emergency or to move to higher ground."

The torrential rain flooded neighborhoods throughout Bucks County. The areas greatest impacted by the storm received 6"-10" of rain in around 3-4 hours. According to the NWS, this is estimated to be a 100-Year Flood-- meaning each year there is about a 1% chance of seeing this much rain.

RELATED: '100-year flood' hit part of the Philly region | Explainer

The torrential rain that flooded parts of the region is being termed a "100-year flood." Meteorologist Cecily Tynan explains.

Here are some of the latest rainfall estimates :

-Croydon 10.28"

-Bristol Twp. 8.67"

-Florence 7.33"

-Beverly 5.00"

-NE Philadelphia: 3.99"

-Levittown 3.79"

As drivers tried to get home from work, many, like those traveling under the Route 13 bridge became stranded. Many other roadways across the region were also closed due to severe flooding.

And in Bensalem, the Action Cam was rolling as marine units jumped into action to rescue residents from the floodwaters.

"I opened my door, I couldn't open it, and the next thing you know everything was flooded in my house," said Vicky Pacheco tearfully. "The water just started coming up."

About 45 residents who live at the Lafayette Condos had to be evacuated. Ashley Firman and her 11-month-old son Eli packed up their life in four bags.

"My entire stairwell was flooded," she said. "I grabbed this right here."

"Everybody is OK -- that's ultimately what matters. These are material things that are gone," said another evacuated resident.

In was a similar situation in Croydon, where crews had to use boats to rescue residents along Spencer Drive and Stephen Avenue.

Flash flooding forces Croydon, Pa. residents to evacuate. Dann Cuellar reports for Action News at 11 p.m. on July 12, 2021.

"We lived in that house 53 years and never had it come in the house," said 77-year-old Rich Kelly.

"It flooded out front, it flooded out back and then all of a sudden, it started coming in the front door. (It) came in the kitchen, came in the family room, every single room in our house is covered in 2-3 inches of water," said Rich's wife, Marie Kelly.

Stephanie Houser says she was driving home from work in Center City when the skies just opened up with a vengeance.

"I literally couldn't see anything. My wipers were going as fast as they could and they weren't helping. I came home to see all of this. Flooded cars on my street, nobody could get through," she said.

Bucks County officials and the American Red Cross asked that anyone who could not return home Monday evening due to flooding to report to the Snyder Middle School in Bensalem for further assistance.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Cecily Tynan, there were dozens of reports of water rescues during the height of the storm. No injuries have been reported.

In Northeast Philadelphia, Mike Givens says the storm completely flooded his basement and ruined other parts of his home.

He had his home remodeled three weeks ago.

"I wouldn't be that upset if I didn't just spend $13,000 to redo the whole house. We did the ceilings, we got the lighting. Devastating," said Givens.

In Northeast Philadelphia, one resident told Action News Monday's severe weather completely flooded his basement and ruined other parts of his home.

Across the street from Givens, Stephen Kokser's basement is badly flooded as well.

"It just came fast and furious. It was overwhelming," he said.

The storm also roared through Burlington County, New Jersey. The Action Cam found some roads closed off in the area on Monday evening.

There was also flooding along Route 73 near the Tacony Palmyra Bridge.

Burlington County officials said hundreds of 911 calls were made on Monday evening. A total of 12 water rescues were dispatched.

No serious injuries were reported.

There is another threat for severe weather Tuesday. Flooding downpours, damaging winds and an isolated tornado are all possible. The best chance of seeing severe weather is in the northwest suburbs. Stay up-to-date by watching the latest AccuWeather forecast and downloading the 6abc app.

Do you have videos or photos of the flooding? If you can do so SAFELY, please send them to us at 6abc.com/share

Video from Mobile 6 and an Action News viewer showed the conditions during a flood emergency on Monday afternoon.