In the wake of Hurricane Irene, curious onlookers could see a rushing Schuylkill River filling the Philadelphia Water Department intake station on Kelly Drive. A ladder served as a bridge for workers moving about in the facility above sand bags and brown flooding.
Despite the dramatic scene, the PWD has not announced any danger to the facility or threat to the water system.
Provisional data available from the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that water is gushing in the Schuylkill at almost 90,000 cubic feet per second, a jump of about nine times over yesterday’s high. However, levels are well below those of Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 and the river crested by mid-afternoon today.
About 40 million gallons of water from the Schuylkill River goes through the Belmont Water Treatment Plant each day. The Schuylkill River provides about 40-percent of the city’s water.