Radnor Township preps for flooding with specialized equipment

Radnor Township acquired a specialized tank truck early last year for high water rescues.
RADNOR TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Police in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania have specialized equipment and staffing plans in place with severe weather arriving to our area Wednesday into Thursday.

"I think one of the things is preparation. I'm sure every municipality in the five-county region is taking time to just prepare," said Radnor Police Superintendent Chris Flanagan.

With hours of heavy rainfall and a threat of flooding in the forecast, Flanagan said police have been gearing up for the remnants of Ida.

"We know that flooding can really cause long-term damage, so you kind of have to be ready for it best you can," Flanagan added.

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Radnor Township acquired an M1070A1 tank truck early last year for high water rescues.

"We use it mainly for rescues, very quick. Where an area is flooded out, we go in. Someone stranded in a vehicle, and we'll just put them on this vehicle and move them to dry land," Police Evidence Technician Kevin Gallagher said.

Radnor Township shared video from last year with Action News showing the truck put into service as floodwaters surged over streets and stranded drivers.

Gallagher explained the truck is used to rescue people from cars and homes, complete with a basket with a hydraulic lift in the back.

"This vehicle has the capability to go into deep water as a snorkel, and we've had it in water I'd say about five feet so far," Gallagher said.

"We made sure when we were designing this- we actually did have a stretcher so it does fit on here. We put wheelchairs on here, and then it's a matter of the up and down," Gallagher said, pressing the button of the lift.

Other safety precautions include police vehicles fitted with bags containing life jackets. Officers will be positioned in known flood areas.

They team up with fire department crews as they face the storm.

Police said residents need to do their part too.

"Turn around: do not drive through that water. If you see barricades or yellow tape, it means there could really be a problem," Flanagan said.

As first responders prepare, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a proclamation of disaster emergency, which allows for emergency preparedness teams to provide support during and after the storm.
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