Part of Philadelphia region hit with ‘100-year flood,’ National Weather Service says

The torrential rain flooded neighborhoods throughout Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The areas greatest impacted by the storm received 6"-10" of rain in around 3-4 hours.

This story originally appeared on 6ABC.

Severe storms wreaked havoc across the Philadelphia region Monday evening, triggering water rescues and leaving dozens of residents stranded.

The storm prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Flash Flood Emergency, urging drivers of the imminent threat.

“Widespread and life-threatening flash flooding is occurring. This is an extremely dangerous situation,” the weather service said. “Do not venture out unless it is an emergency or to move to higher ground.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

The torrential rain flooded neighborhoods throughout Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The areas greatest impacted by the storm received 6″-10″ of rain in around 3-4 hours. According to the NWS, this is estimated to be a 100-Year Flood — meaning each year there is about a 1% chance of seeing this much rain.

Here are some of the latest rainfall estimates:

  • Croydon 10.28″
  • Bristol Twp. 8.67″
  • Florence 7.33″
  • Beverly 5.00″
  • NE Philadelphia: 3.99″
  • Levittown 3.79″

As drivers tried to get home from work, many, like those traveling under the Route 13 bridge became stranded. Many other roadways across the region were also closed due to severe flooding.

And in Bensalem, the Action Cam was rolling as marine units jumped into action to rescue residents from the floodwaters.

“I opened my door, I couldn’t open it, and the next thing you know everything was flooded in my house,” said Vicky Pacheco tearfully. “The water just started coming up.”

About 45 residents who live at the Lafayette Condos had to be evacuated. Ashley Firman and her 11-month-old son Eli packed up their life in four bags.

“My entire stairwell was flooded,” she said. “I grabbed this right here.”

“Everybody is OK — that’s ultimately what matters. These are material things that are gone,” said another evacuated resident.

Aa car is pictured in heavy floodwaters
The torrential rain flooded neighborhoods throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. (6ABC)

In was a similar situation in Croydon, where crews had to use boats to rescue residents along Spencer Drive and Stephen Avenue.

“We lived in that house 53 years and never had it come in the house,” said 77-year-old Rich Kelly.

“It flooded out front, it flooded out back, and then all of a sudden, it started coming in the front door. (It) came in the kitchen, came in the family room, every single room in our house is covered in 2-3 inches of water,” said Rich’s wife, Marie Kelly.

Stephanie Houser says she was driving home from work in Center City when the skies just opened up with a vengeance.

“I literally couldn’t see anything. My wipers were going as fast as they could and they weren’t helping. I came home to see all of this. Flooded cars on my street, nobody could get through,” she said.

Bucks County officials and the American Red Cross asked that anyone who could not return home Monday evening due to flooding to report to the Snyder Middle School in Bensalem for further assistance.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Cecily Tynan, there were dozens of reports of water rescues during the height of the storm. No injuries have been reported.

In Northeast Philadelphia, Mike Givens says the storm completely flooded his basement and ruined other parts of his home.

He had his home remodeled three weeks ago.

“I wouldn’t be that upset if I didn’t just spend $13,000 to redo the whole house. We did the ceilings, we got the lighting. Devastating,” said Givens.

Across the street from Givens, Stephen Kokser’s basement is badly flooded as well.

“It just came fast and furious. It was overwhelming,” he said.

There is another threat for severe weather Tuesday. Flooding downpours, damaging winds, and an isolated tornado are all possible. The best chance of seeing severe weather is in the northwest suburbs.

Get the WHYY app!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal