Horsham fire deputy tours Ida storm damage, checks on residents

Deputy Chief Jesse Mancini helped coordinate at least 60 water rescues.
HORSHAM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A week after historic flooding and tornadoes impacted the Philadelphia region, Horsham Fire Company Deputy Chief Jesse Mancini says he is shocked when he drives through his town and sees the damage.

"We could not drive a vehicle down this road at all and actually were unable to for two days," said Mancini. "Now we drive through, and the landscape's changed for probably 100 years. A lot of these trees are 100 years old. A lot of the houses that were damaged have been here for a long time. Some of them are gone now."

Mancini was in charge of response in the field during Ida. He helped coordinate at least 60 water rescues and checked on hundreds of houses calling for help.

"It looked like a warzone. People's houses, sidings were ripped off and a lot of tree damage," said Michael Calvin, who lives in Horsham.

Resident Gail Hannigan said, "We ran to the basement. Ryan (husband) laid on top of me and said, 'If anyone's going to die, it's going to be me.'"

Mancini said this life-saving work was not possible without his team.

"I just want to stress the hard work and effort those guys did that night," said Mancini. "It's what we signed up to do. It's part of our job. We trained for it, and when the time comes, most of the time, honestly, you don't think about it, you just do it."

Now Mancini hopes everyone will recover.

"To see the aftermath is pretty surreal," he added.

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