Pennsylvania National Guard rescues residents, pets from Center City flooding

The waters flooded the low-lying portion of Center City around 22nd and Arch streets and 23rd and Cherry streets.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Residents in some apartment buildings close to the Schuylkill River had to be rescued Thursday afternoon by the Pennsylvania National Guard.

The waters flooded the low-lying portion of Center City around 22nd and Arch streets and 23rd and Cherry streets.

Jake Blank was rescued along with his dog.

"We really appreciate it you know, we were waiting for quite some time," Blank said. "You don't really expect these things to happen when you're in a big building like this."

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



Samantha Berman was on the last trip out.

"You can't walk anywhere out of the building. They told us we might lose our electricity and our appliances, so we were like we better get out of here," said Berman.

Captain Derek Bowmer of the Philadelphia Fire Department was coordinating the response from the National Guard and the Philadelphia Fire Department.

"We have these large trucks here from the National Guard. We love that they are here. We plucked about 11 people and two dogs," said Bowmer.

There are no reports of any injuries. As the water slowly receded, business owners were able to begin cleanup and utility crews could gain access to restore lost power.

The Office of Emergency Management opened a reception center for people who may be impacted by storm damage, including flooding at their residences.

Here a that latest updates released by the City of Philadelphia for September 2, 2021:

City Services



Trash and recycling collections will continue in areas unaffected by flooding, expect delays. Residents should continue to set materials out on their regular day. The city will be operating essential services only.

The First Judicial District of Philadelphia also announced that Philadelphia courts will be closed today.

City Buildings Closed



The City of Philadelphia announced that all city offices were closed to the public Thursday due to the continued impact of Wednesday's storm and the ongoing flooding hazard.

Road closures and public transit



Numerous roads were closed to traffic, including heavily travelled portions of I-676 and Kelly Drive. There was also an impact on SEPTA mass transit service.

Interstate 76 reopened in both directions around 8 p.m.

Reception Centers



The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management opened reception centers for people who may be impacted by storm damage, including flooding at their residence. A reception center is a safe location operated by the City and Red Cross where people can go to get out of harm's way, receive information and guidance along with resources and basic necessities to those affected.

Damage Assessment Survey



To help the City understand the extent of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and to see where resources and recovery assistance may be needed, we're asking anyone impacted by this severe storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into our damage assessment tool.

School District of Philadelphia



The School District of Philadelphia announced a two-hour delay. Families, media, and the public are urged to monitor the District website for updated information.

Philadelphia Water Department



The Philadelphia Water Department's customer contact center (215-685-6300) will be open. Once waters recede, businesses and homeowners should take photos of any storm or flood damage. If it is safe to do so, take photos before any repairs are made. If a Water customer's property experiences flooding, we ask that they complete the City's Flood Report Survey to provide us with information that can help the City plan for the future.

Where to report issues



Damage assessment survey



To help the City understand the extent of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and to see where resources and recovery assistance may be needed, we're asking anyone impacted by this severe storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into our damage assessment tool.

Gas odors



If anyone smells a gas odor, they should immediately leave the area and call 911 or Philadelphia Gas Works at 215-235-1212 and provide the address or location. PGW's Customer Call Center (215-235-1000) will be open.

Drinking water quality issues



Residents who experience discolored water after flooding should call (215) 685-6300 right away so an inspector can investigate.

Clogged inlets



PWD crews worked to clear storm drains of mud and debris after the flooding from Hurricane Ida, but if residents believe any local inlets are not draining properly, they should report the exact location by calling (215) 685-6300.

Fallen trees



Street trees
  • If a tree falls and is blocking a road, or it has fallen on a house, car or other property, call 911. Emergency services will respond to make the location safe.
  • If the fallen tree is touching electrical wires, please call PECO at (800) 841-4141 to report.
  • For non-emergency tree requests contact Philly311. Non-emergencies include downed trees or branches that are not blocking a road or not on a house, car, or property, or when not touching electrical wires.


Park trees
  • If a tree falls in an open area of a park, please contact Philly311 to report. 311 will send a service request to the Parks & Rec maintenance team to clear the fallen tree.
  • For emergencies involving park trees, please call 911. These emergencies would include park trees that have fallen onto playground equipment, cars, or the street.


Private property trees
  • Fallen trees on private property are the property owner's responsibility to resolve. If a tree from a neighboring property has caused damage to your property, please seek legal counsel.
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