Cleanup continues in flood-ravaged parts of Philadelphia

"There was so much water in here that I found a turtle inside the building," said Manayunk art studio owner Jonathan Pinkett.

Chad Pradelli Image
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Cleanup continues in flood-ravaged parts of Philadelphia
In Manayunk, stretches of Main Street were caked and coated in mud and dust, piles of waterlogged items hauled outside to curb.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The cleanup effort is continuing after tornadoes and flash flooding from last week's powerful storm left devastation across the Delaware Valley.

Jonathan Pinkett is saving what he can inside his Manayunk art studio. He knows the drill, but his studio has never taken on water like it did last week.

"This has happened five or six times but each time it was about 3 to 4 feet of water and mud. But this time it was 16 feet," said Pinkett.

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia residents urged to report storm damage. Here's how to do it

The sound of power washers was ubiquitous along Main Street as businesses tried to get back up and running.

PECO crews were seemingly everywhere as crews restored power and made sure establishments were safe.

Cleanup and restoration company, Servpro, has been working around the clock at TransAmerican Office Furniture, which lost everything.

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

"I have a list of 70 some jobs, some customers I haven't been able to get to," said Jason Young who was running a Servpro crew.

G. J. Littlewood & Son has been in the US textile industry for more than 150 years.

On Tuesday, the sludge slowly slid out their doors.

Owner Bob Littlewood said, "We're completely wiped out. Everything went under."

"There's been no comparison, 1972 with Hurricane Agnes, is the worst that I had ever encountered, and this blew it away," Littlewood explained.

Littlewood predicts cleanup will take several weeks, and they still don't know the full impact on their machinery and equipment.

Just off the once flooded Vine Street Expressway, residents of the Park Towne Place apartments were moving back home. Cleanup is still underway for the pool and garage, but the power is back on and residents are relieved.

"There are still some restrictions like the parking in the garage, we can't access it. There is a long battle ahead in terms of insurance claims and those things, but at least we are glad we are in our home," said resident Gaurav Raychaudhury.

"You can't walk anywhere out of the building. They told us we might lose our electricity and our appliances," said Samantha Berman.

Like many businesses, Pinkett needs help getting back on his feet.

He has set up a Facebook fundraiser. He says he's never been on the verge of collapse until now.

"There was so much water in here that I found a turtle inside the building and had to save him and get him to the stream," said Pinkett.

EXPLAINER: Why was Ida so deadly in the New York, New Jersey area, 1000 miles from landfall

Philadelphia businesses and homeowners affected by last week's severe weather are being urged to report damage to the city as soon as possible.

If it's safe to do so, residents are being asked to take photos of damage and repairs.

To help the city understand the extent of damage and to see where resources may be needed, residents are urged to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into OEM's damage assessment tool at