Manayunk’s Venice Lofts apartment complex evacuated

All residents of the flood-prone Venice Lofts apartment complex off of Leverington Avenue in Manayunk are being told to evacuate the building by 5 p.m. tonight.

The compex, which sits on Venice Island between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill, has a strong history of flooding.

Rachel Masel, who just moved into Venice Lofts this month, was packing up her car around 11 a.m. this morning.

“They warned us yesterday afternoon what could possibly happen,” she said. “Then around midnight, we got an email saying that we would have to have our cars out of the parking lot by 2 and everyone out of the building by 5.”

As of 11:30 this morning, there were still about 100 cars parked in the nearby lots. Masel was off to stay at the Hilton on City Avenue since she studies at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine nearby.

“It’s not so bad, they warned me about it when I was first looking at the building but they told us about hotels with discounted rates and places to move our cars,” she said.

Roxborough High School on Ridge Avenue will open up as a shelter at 6 p.m. tonight for those evacuating early or displaced by the storm.

In a press release sent out this morning, the Manayunk Development Corporation said all businesses along Main Street will be open today. 

“Given Manayunk’s beautiful, but sometimes precarious location along the banks of the Schuylkill River, we have become all too experienced with handling these kinds of weather conditions,” said Jane Lipton, MDC executive director. “We are open for business today. Tomorrow may be another story. Some of our businesses are planning on closing tomorrow.”

Lipton noted that she and her team are in constant communication with the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management and are monitoring the path and impact of the storm by the hour. 

As of Friday night, The National Weather Service’s Hydrologic Prediction Service updated its forecast and predicted that the Schuylkill will reach 9.70 feet at 8 a.m. tomorrow, 14.90 feet by 8 p.m. and 11.70 feet by 2 p.m. on Monday.

During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the Schuylkill reached 14.10 feet.

For updates on the storm, check out the Extreme Weather Center

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