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Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc in the Area
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-08-16

            As a resident living next to the Perkiomen Creek for three years, Antonia Rocha has experienced some flooding. But nothing came close to what she experienced Monday morning.

            Around 10:20 a.m., Rocha noticed water in her basement in the 1000 block

Tractor trailers and other large trucks were all that were
able to traverse Water Street in Upper Hanover Township
at Peevy Road on Monday afternoon.

of Palm Hill Road Upper Hanover. Within 50 minutes, the back yard resembled a lake. Rushing waters covered a bird house and a pond along the edge of the property and flowed to within 60 feet of the home. The rising water also made a nearby bridge impassable to vehicles.

            "I'm not sure if this is normal," said Rocha, standing in the front yard of the home, constructed on a plateau. "I told my son to have a boat ready."

            Across the street from United Transmissions & Services, located at 846 Gravel Pike in the Palm section of the township, one resident discovered 18 inches of water in his basement at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Five hours later, Scott Kratowhill was attempting to unclog a storm water drain along the street in front of his home.

            Initially, the water from the excessive rain rose to the second step on the stoop. According to Kratowhill, the runoff from a pipe shared by three residents along his side of Gravel Pike had backed up into the drain and ended up in his basement.

            Torrential rains Monday morning triggered flash flooding and wreaked havoc on commuters and property owners throughout the Upper Perkiomen Valley. 

            Several communities in southeastern Pennsylvania received between two and three inches of rain, approximately three weeks' worth, in a relatively short time according to Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.

            "Anytime that happens, there's going to be a problem because the water has nowhere to go," Kines said Tuesday afternoon.

            Alburtis received nearly 3.25 inches of rain on Monday, according to information collected by the National Weather Service. Pennsburg and Schwenksville each absorbed more than two inches of rain. Residents in Harleysville and Quakertown each dealt with more than an inch, according to the same information.

            According to Kines, the region has suffered through one of the wettest summers on record due to a stalled warm humid air mass. He said that for several weeks, the mass has been interacting with weaker systems, mostly of tropical origins, that has led to precipitation.

            The heavy rains forced Upper Hanover officials to close Water Street in front of Knoll, Inc. However, the company employees have access to the business through another access point on Pillsbury Road, said township Manager Stanley W. Seitzinger Jr.

            The manager said he heard anecdotal concerns of flooding on Palm Hill Road and that the pond at Camelot Park overflowed. According to Seitzinger, municipal officials dealt with the usual issues associated heavy rain.

            At Keith Masemore's dairy farm on Huffs Church Road, in Hereford, the heavy rain knocked down some fences and flooded in the barn where the cows live. According to Masemore, some gravel in an underground pipe forced six inches of water into the barn. He said the runoff was not in the milking parlor or the milk house.

            Speaking as the chairman of the township's board of supervisors, Masemore said several of the township's dirt roads suffered erosion. He also said he was unaware of any rain-related injuries in the municipality.

            Milford Township officials also contended with significant flooding issues Saturday due to torrential downpours, according to Manager Jeffrey Vey. He said heavy rain led to flash flooding of four tributaries of the Unami Creek that turned Brick Tavern Road into one large body of water.

            The storm, which Vey described as unbelievably localized, damaged multiple homes in the township as well as Brick Tavern Road, Bauman Road, Weiss Road and Wieand Road. He said several cars were pushed off roads by the water.

            "This was not a casual flooding event," said the manager, who added that a farmer on Cassel Road farmer reported receiving five inches of rain in two hours.

            According to meteorologist Kines, a strong Canadian front is needed to replace the humid air mass, However, Kines doesn't see any of those systems on the horizon. He said another system, which could create another storm over the weekend, may arrive on Friday.


 

 

 

 

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