Heavy rain, flooding prompts evacuations in parts of Delaware County

About 20 Delaware County residents have been displaced due to significant flooding around Darby Creek, county officials said.

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Flooding is impacting spots all across the Philadelphia area Monday after a night of heavy rain. The flooding made for a messy Monday, impacting drivers and homeowners.

While the heaviest rain is over, flooding concerns will continue throughout the day.

The region will continue to see mostly lighter rain on and off, which will wrap up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to 6abc meteorologist Karen Rogers.

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About 20 Delaware County residents have been displaced due to significant flooding around Darby Creek, county officials said. Emergency responders evacuated residents from 12 homes, and rescued about 12 people from their cars after they drove through high waters. There were no injuries.

“The water rose rapidly and backfilled a number of sewers, exacerbating the issue. A number of people had to be removed from cars by first responders, and as the weather changed and the winds came in, now we’re seeing a rise in trees falling and bringing down power lines” said Emergency Services Director Timothy Boyce.

About 50 Delaware County homes were without power as of Monday afternoon.

The water is expected to continue to rise and detours are in place near Chester Pike.

“When we went to bed last night, I told my wife and my daughter, ‘This don’t look good’ and here we go,” said Darby resident Joe Allsman.

“It was up to the top step going into my apartment and they told us to get out. I had to real quick get dressed and get my dog so we could get out,” said fellow Darby resident Rich Moore.

You could see the high levels of Darby Creek at MacDade Blvd., where debris was trapped under the bridge. PennDOT crews responded with heavy equipment to clear the clogged waterway.

Darby Borough’s police chief said the flooding began around 3:15 a.m. and they closed the street.

“PennDOT’s here. Hopefully, they’ll get it cleared in the next few hours and we’ll be able to open the street again,” said Darby Borough Police Chief Joseph Gabe.

Collingdale police were initially called to help Darby with the flooding since they share the intersection of MacDade and Springfield. But as the flooding continued, the stormwater system started backing up into Collingdale too, and evacuations began in Florence.

“We shut the gas off to the houses right now, there may be some electrical issues so we’re having PECO shut the electric off, so it’s just safety for the residents to get them out of there,” said Collingdale Police Chief Patrick Kilroy.

Nearby Collingdale business, Cappuccino Connection, flooded. The coffee products were ruined and equipment was submerged.

The county’s director of emergency services said, historically, there has been significant flooding there and in other nearby areas, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing plans for a levy to hopefully alleviate the problem.

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“The levy project is underway. It’s in design,” said Timothy Boyce, the director of emergency services. “This is going to reinforce the need to do something here in Delaware County and southwest Philadelphia.”

The American Red Cross is also helping at least 14 Bucks County residents who were evacuated from their homes Monday morning as flood waters rose.

The shelter is providing a place for residents to eat, use their phone, and wait out the impacts of the storm, said spokesperson Alana Mauger.

“So anyone who is impacted all along Derby Creek is certainly invited to come by and we will provide a safe place to keep you warm and recharged and fed,” she said.

There were no major injuries or deaths, according to reports. A flood warning remains in effect until this evening.

Since Sunday, we’ve had 2.91″ of rain in Philadelphia, over 3″ in Downingtown, nearly 3″ in South Jersey and over 4″ in Poconos, Rogers said.

The strongest winds were east of the city, with a 62 mph gust in Brigantine Monday morning. It will continue to be windy Monday with the highest gusts potentially reaching 35-45 mph.

Drivers are advised to be cautious as rainwater impacts some roadways across the greater Philadelphia area.

A Flood Warning is in effect for the heart of our region until 2:15 p.m. and in Lehigh County until 1:15 p.m. The Schuylkill River has minor flooding at Pottstown and Norristown that will likely continue into Tuesday.

Puddling roads were an issue for several drivers heading to work.

Delaware Avenue is closed between Spring Garden St. and Christian St. due to flooding. Some cars had trouble attempting to get through the high water around 6 a.m., prompting police to redirect traffic away from Columbus Blvd. Delays are expected and motorists should consider alternate routes.

debris on the street
Debris sits on a closed Columbus Blvd. in Philadelphia after a storm brought heavy rain to the region and the Delaware River overflowed onto the road on December 18, 2023. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)
The Philadelphia Water Department worked to clear clogged gutters at Delaware Ave. and Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia cause road closures after a storm brought heavy rain to the region and the Delaware River overflowed onto the road on December 18, 2023. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Cars also got stuck in high waters in Wilmington in the 1300 block of East 12 Street.

A Mt. Ephraim firetruck even got stuck in flooding Monday morning while assisting with numerous water rescues. It happened around 5 a.m. in the 600 block of Fairview Street in Camden, New Jersey.

The high winds and heavy rain also caused a tree to fall on numerous cars and brought down Christmas decorations. It happened around 6:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Girard Avenue in Horsham. No one was injured.

As of 11:30 a.m., 47 flights have also been delayed at Philadelphia International Airport, according to FlightAware.

You can get real-time traffic updates at: https://6abc.com/traffic. Get your full forecast here.

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