Damage assessment efforts in Lower Bucks County will extend into a second day, when county, state and local officials head out Wednesday morning to measure the fallout from Monday’s flash flooding.
Teams from Bucks County Emergency Management, together with officials from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, spent much of Tuesday surveying areas of Bristol Township, Bristol Borough and Bensalem Township where numerous residences were evacuated and others condemned.
Hardest hit was Lafayette Gardens, a complex of condominiums situated between Bristol Pike and the banks of Poquessing Creek in Bensalem. Overwhelmed by the lingering storms, the engorged creek swelled Monday into nearby homes, displacing residents and destroying many of the complex’s 60 units.
“It was heartbreaking to see so many people forced from their homes and dealing with so much damage,” said Bucks County Commissioner Bob Harvie. “There are families in our communities who lost everything they own, and others who may not have flood insurance and have to pay out of pocket for repairs to their houses.”
PHOTO: Bucks County Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo, right, surveys flash flooding damage Tuesday alongside other state, local and federal officials at the Lafayette Gardens condominium complex in Bensalem.
Harvie and Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo toured the damage at Lafayette Gardens and other sites, and spoke to residents working through Tuesday’s heat and humidity to salvage belongings from their waterlogged homes.
“I’m hoping our Bucks County residents consider reaching out to the affected communities and the Red Cross to find ways to help our neighbors in need,” Harvie said.
The American Red Cross staged at Cornwells Fire Company to assist Lafayette Gardens residents with finding temporary housing.
Municipal officials by 5 p.m. Tuesday had received hundreds of reports of damage to homes, as well as reports of washed-out and still-flooded roadways.
PHOTO: Bucks County Commissioner Bob Harvie speaks Tuesday with residents of the Lafayette Gardens condominium complex in Bensalem.
“After touring some of the hardest hit locations, I think it’s just a miracle that no one was seriously injured or lost their lives,” said DiGirolamo. “I want to thank all of the men and women of our police and fire departments, and our EMS personnel for their lifesaving and heroic work during the storm.”
In the Croydon section of Bristol Township, where nearly 10 inches of rain had fallen the evening prior, some streets in the Croydon Acres neighborhood were still home Tuesday afternoon to a foot or more of standing water.
Along the 400 block of Pond Street in neighboring Bristol Borough, officials had condemned several structures where water had ripped through and torn a hole in one house’s foundation.
PHOTO: Water fills the street and sidewalk along Spencer Drive in Croydon, Bristol Township on Tuesday, a day after storms caused flash flooding in several Lower Bucks County communities.
Emergency Management personnel will be back on the road Wednesday morning to continue evaluating damage.
Anyone displaced by the storm and in need of shelter should contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767. (Select option four.)
Residents and business owners are urged to report storm damage to municipal officials using the phone numbers below.
Municipal officials should report damage to Bucks County Emergency Management by emailing [email protected], or calling 215-340-8700.
Temperatures are expected to remain high over the next few days. Bensalem Senior Center, located at 1850 Byberry Road, will be open and serving as a cooling center until 3 p.m. through Friday.
Bristol Township Senior Center, located at 2501 Bath Road, will be open until at least 3:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
Media Contact: James O’Malley, 215-348-6414, [email protected]