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Isaias Keeps First Responders Busy
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            A helicopter swooped in Tuesday afternoon to save two trapped motorists in Hereford Township. Within an hour, the Air National Guard aircraft carried a Boyertown area man and woman to safety after their vehicle attempted to drive through standing water at the intersection of Tollgate Road and Hill Road, according to Josh Boroski, Chief of the Hereford Volunteer Fire Company.

A helicoptor maneuvers over a vehicle on Tolgate Road in Hereford Township to safely

remove the stranded occupants.  Tuesday's storm brought more than 7 inches of rain to

many parts of the region.


            Boroski described the incident as a first for the municipality. He said his department was unable to reach the vehicle, which has been swept off the road, due to the swiftness of the water and difficult terrain.

            "That saved us some work," Boroski said.

            Boroski's department responded at 2:09 p.m. The chief said that location, near where two branches of the Perkiomen Creek come together, always floods when the area receives heavy rain.

            "The water was up to the car windows," the chief said

            According to the Boroski, Berks County dispatchers automatically notified the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team deployed by Gov. Wolf to assist with water rescues in Berks and Montgomery counties and support the Swiftwater Emergency Response Teams from the Commonwealth's Fish and Boat Commission.

            The helicopter pulled the couple out of the vehicle after an unsuccessful attempt by Pennsburg firefighters to reach them with its aerial unit. The commuters were evaluated by staff of the Western Berks Ambulance, refused treatment and got a ride home, according to Boroski.

            Heavy rain caused by Tropical Storm Isaias wreaked havoc throughout the Upper Perkiomen Valley. The Pennsburg Volunteer Fire Company conducted a successful water rescue on 6th Street at James Road, according to Chief Scott Seip.

            In Green Lane, downpours and related flooding issues created more damage in the borough than the storm that hit last July, according to Mayor Lynn Wolfe.

            "Everyone in the borough is affected one way or another," she said.  "We're all exhausted."

            The flooding created significant structural issues to bridges, according to Wolfe. She said officials in the borough and neighboring Marlborough Township continue to assess the additional damage. A pond built for the fire department in Issac Smith Park overflowed and covered 2nd and 3rd streets.

            Municipal officials closed several roads in advance of the storm, according to the mayor. Wolfe said the residents on Lumber Street absorbed damage similar to last year's flooding. Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wolfe saw seven families preparing to leave their homes before the storm. She said one of the doors had a note stating that the resident had moved to a higher elevation.

            "They knew the drill," the mayor said.

            The New Hanover Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services handled 10 separate water rescues in the township, according to Deputy Chief Phil Agliano. He said firefighters also rescued a man trapped in the second story of a home on Miles Lane.

            "A couple of boat crews had to come in and help," Agliano said.

            According to the deputy chief, the department responded to two dozen flood-related calls. He said several residents are requesting assistance with flooded basements.





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