Upper Dublin Township community coming together to rebuild after storm

Police ask that sightseers limit travel near the disaster zones while the cleanup is ongoing.
UPPER DUBLIN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The long and difficult cleanup effort is underway in Upper Dublin Township, Pennsylvania after remnants from Hurricane Ida destroyed businesses and homes across the region.

On Wednesday night, a group of volunteers managed to turn a heartbreaking situation into a heartwarming one by picking up down trees and debris outside Carol and Rick Kocher's home.

"It's just amazing that they come from all the neighborhoods in the area," Rick said.

"We don't even know them. They even had like 20 people out here yesterday," Carol said.

Barbara Mass organized the effort through Facebook. She felt compelled to help after volunteers cleaned up her home.

"First you might walk into a house and you cry because that sucks. Then you walk into a house and you see all these people coming and that's amazing. So, the tears, they just come," said Mass.

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The tornado also caused mass damage at the township building, the police department and two schools, Upper Dublin High School and Fort Washington Elementary School.

But the township's administration is operating out of the Fort Washington Fire Department building.

"The township, while we are running on a skeleton staff and doing the best with limited internet and power that we have, we hope to be fully operational in just a few days," said Rebecca Lohoefer-Mahon who is the Upper Dublin Township Communications Coordinator.

The police station, which is a total loss, is operating out of the Upper Dublin Public Library.

Chief Francis Wheatley ask that sightseers limit travel near the disaster zones while the cleanup is ongoing.

"We're asking if you're not from the developments that were hit, please don't come here, there's nothing to see. It's really not safe," said Chief Wheatley.

Also for the two schools that sustained damage, the high school and Fort Washington Elementary School, they will be virtual for Thursday and Friday instruction. Officials will discuss further plans for learning over the weekend.

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