NW Philly braces for Irene

This week’s wet weather is only a fraction of the storm that is predicted to drench our area this weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Irene will bring periods of strong winds and very heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday and may cause moderate tidal flooding, especially on Sunday.

Residents in Roxborough, Manayunk and East Falls have already begun to start stocking up ahead of the weather. Bread and milk were some of the hottest items at area grocery stores on Thursday afternoon. Acme Supermarket on Ridge Avenue had a sign posted reminding costumers of what essentials to buy including prescription medication, canned goods, ice, candles, batteries and water.

“I am running in here on my lunch break,” said Nina O’Leary of Andorra. “I wanted to run out and grab my stuff before everyone goes crazy.”

O’Leary was shopping at Brown’s ShopRite on Ridge Avenue and Livezey Lane. A quick look at the three supermarkets along the Ridge showed that the amount of customers was normal for lunchtime but store employees anticipate a deluge of customers as the storm approaches.

Businesses along the Schuylkill also have their eyes on the news and the river level.

Main Street in Manayunk, portions of Kelly Drive in East Falls and the Philadelphia Canoe Club on Ridge Avenue are a few flood-prone areas of concern. 

“This is where business and nature meet,” said Howard Moseley, director of government relations and infrastructure at the Manayunk Development Corporation. “We take flooding and safety very seriously; this is not a game.”

Moseley said that businesses along Main Street are prepared and informed. Moseley said the MDC is keeping an eye on the water levels and keeping in touch with the city’s Office of Emergency Management and businesses inexperienced with flooding.

“Manayunk has a history of bouncing right back when the water levels recede,” said Moseley. “Businesses between 100-feet up from Shurs Lane all the way to Green Lane, it is business as usual. There are usually no problems such as power outages.”

Businesses most affected by floodwaters are located on the far ends of the Main Street business corridor such as Mad River and Manayunk Brewery near Shurs Lane and the Venice Lofts housing complex on Venice Island off of Leverington Avenue.

Check back to NewsWorks.org for updates on the storm. 

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