Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodnight Irene

Flooding at Arcola Road
At long last scary megastorm Hurricane Irene has headed to points north, taking her tornado warnings and soaking rains with her, leaving lots of flooding, high winds, and downed trees in her wake. Montgomery County in general seems to have dodged the bullet better than most. Judging from news reports, Chester and Delaware Counties seem to have been hardest hit.

Luckily, most people in Lower Providence heeded warnings to prepare well ahead of time and stayed off roads during the storm and the morning after. Our emergency responders had their hands full with flooded roadways, traffic lights out, disabled vehicles and other typical issues that crop up on a 'normal' Saturday night. I'm sure by now they are all exhausted and hopefully heading home soon for a well-deserved rest. Thanks from a grateful community!

I headed out after lunchtime to check on a few friends who live near riverfront property (all are OK although their homes may not be) and take a few photos. As you can imagine, all bridges across the Perkiomen are flooded out and closed so getting around is a little difficult. Hoy Park is also flooded. Parts of the Evansburg area/Level Road are without power. I didn't make it down to Audubon but I have to think some of those who live near Valley Forge National Park, especially in the Gertrude Avenue area, may be experiencing significant flooding. I sincerely hope people, pets and property are all OK. I've posted some photos and video. If you want me to post your photos or have a comment about your experience, send it over!
Downed tree on Level Road

At my house, we got by with a little drama but thankfully very little damage. Even though we live at the top of a hill we often get water in the basement, which our sump pump usually handles easily. Early in the storm, however, we were down in the basement hooking up our generator and noticed the sump wasn't doing anything. I called around and found what was probably the only sump pump left in the tri-county area, at the Collegeville Sears. I headed out to pick it up, and my brother-in-law ran home to his house in Worcester for some parts (his neighbor is a plumber) and soon we were back in business. All in all, we wound up with maybe an inch of water in the basement - far better than it could have been if I could not have found a replacement sump pump.

Let's hope this is the only hurricane the people of Lower Providence and surrounding areas have to make it through this fall and most of all I hope everyone is safe and dry. A related story (especially as it pertains to Gertrude Avenue) can be found here.

Arcola Road

River Road at the Perkiomen Bridge
Perkiomen going from LP into Collegeville (photo credit: Chuck Mandracchia)


Lou said...

As a member of the Lower Providence Fire Police, I am pretty disappointed about your first picture which shows a crowd of people who chose to ignore the caution tape just to get a closer look at the Perkiomen. Since there were a number of rescues that needed to be performed due to that kind of recklessness, this should not be a picture that is highlighted at the same time that the text says "Luckily, most people in Lower Providence ... stayed off roads ... the morning after". Our jobs were hard enough as it was without people doing what they could to make it even harder.

Janice Kearney said...

Agreed. Everywhere I went, emergency responders (presumably, ours) were onsite and not stopping anyone. There were 75 water rescues in Montgomery County due to the storm, and to my knowledge, none of them were in LP. Please correct me if I am wrong. And thanks for all your hard work in this and other emergency situations.

Lou said...

I can tell you that we had our hands full at the Perkiomen Bridge ... hundreds of people wanting to get too close ... occasionally some snuck through. But, we stopped whoever we saw. I was surprised nobody got hit while strolling in the middle of Ridge Pike. When we were at Arcola Road, we did stop people, but, with limited manpower, we could not leave a person there, and, the picture proves that there are a lot of people that foolishly disregard the tape.

Lou said...

There were actually two water rescues dispatched in LP that I know of ... one on River Rd between Collegeville Rd and Township Line Rd (and that one made channel 3's new that night). There may have been more, but, I was so busy, I did not keep track.

Lou said...

Here's a link to the report on channel 3 ...

Janice Kearney said...

Thanks. I spoke to our emergency response coordinator at the township meeting this evening and he told me that LP made two storm-related dispatches, one in LP and the other in Phoenixville I believe it was.

Anonymous said...

I thought LOU was killed in a fire on the last episode of Rescue me!