Philadelphia doctor warns about dangers of playing in floodwaters

"I was trying to make it to the shore but couldn't, so I was like I'll just shred the Schuylkill," said Tyler James.

ByHeather Grubola WPVI logo
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Doctor warning about dangers of playing in floodwaters
Health officials are warning about the dangers of playing in floodwaters after Wednesday night's storm. Some areas may contain debris and even bacteria.

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Sometimes the aftermath of a storm can be just as dangerous as the initial impact, especially with flooding and power outages.

A swift current of floodwater flowed down Washington Street in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania -- water could be seen swirling over train tracks.

Longtime resident Peggy Fox hasn't seen flooding this bad here for decades.

Some people were stranded at nearby apartment complexes including the Londonbury at Millennium and the Riverwalk apartment homes. Laura Bivona's husband is on the first floor of the Riverwalk.

"So it's up to our balcony and he's raised all the furniture as much as he could," she said. She flew up from Florida Thursday morning.

SEE ALSO: Major flooding in Philadelphia and surrounding areas; 7 tornadoes confirmed

Philadelphia and many other surrounding communities in suburban Pennsylvania are dealing with historic flooding on Thursday

Others attempted to wade through the waters, another went skimboarding Thursday.

Tyler James said, "I was trying to make it to the shore but couldn't, so I was like I'll just shred the Schuylkill."

That may seem fun but it's dangerous. Temple Health physician Tony Reed is warning you can't judge the current.

"So you may be walking in what's knee-deep water and hit a spot where it's been washed away underneath and suddenly you're chest-deep or worse," Dr. Reed said.

There can also be debris, bacteria, even sewage in the water.

The other concern is people without power, some dependent on it for medical devices.

Dr. Reed said to call the power company so you can get on a priority list, and in the meantime, have a backup plan.

"If you are in that situation here and now, seek help sooner rather than later," he said.

And a reminder -- if you use a generator, keep it outside in a well-ventilated area.