At least three people have been killed by a sudden flash flood in Pennsylvania while four others remain missing.
On Saturday evening, flash floods as a result of a torrential rainstorm swept through Upper Makefield township in south-eastern Pennsylvania, killing several and leaving behind a slew of damage including submerged buildings.
According to Upper Makefield township’s police department, the worst of the damage occurred along Route 532 in the area of Stonebridge Crossing Road between Aqueduct Road and Wrightstown Road.
“It is with great sorrow that we regretfully announce that three people who were swept away by the flood waters were found deceased,” the police department said. Speaking to the Bucks County Courier Times, Bucks county coroner Meredith Buck confirmed the deaths, saying that two of the victims were found together in one area while another was found in a separate area.
All three victims were discovered outside their vehicles, Buck said, adding: “It’s very possible it could be more.”
According to the police department, police and fire teams were able to rescue one woman who was trapped in her vehicle while search efforts continue for three to four people who are still missing. Local reports indicate that one of the missing individuals is a nine-month-old baby.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Upper Makefield fire chief Tim Brewer said that the area received between 6.5 to 7in of rain in 45 minutes and that three out of 11 cars on the road at the time were swept away.
“In my 44 years, I’ve never seen anything like it … When the water came up, it came up very swiftly. We do not think that anybody drove into it, that they were actively on that road when it happened,” said Brewer, adding that around 150 people were searching the creek on Saturday night and 100 people were involved in the search on Sunday.
Following the floods, several roads have been closed, police said.
“As for the roadways, Taylorsville Road from Route 532 to Route 295 is closed, River Road by Francisco’s is closed, and River Road between Route 532 and Mt Eyre Road is closed. If you are driving in and around the township, please be careful as there is a lot of debris on the roadway,” the police added.
Nearby police departments have joined in on the search and rescue operations.
“Our department is assisting Upper Makefield Township Police Department with a search and rescue operation on Taylorsville Road in the area of Washington Crossing Road (Route 532) for missing persons lost in the flood. Avoid the area to allow emergency personnel to safely perform their duties,” the Newtown township police department announced.
“As a reminder, don’t attempt to traverse through flooded roadways,” it added.
As of Sunday morning, several flash flood warnings have been issued across multiple counties in Pennsylvania including Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/16/pennsylvania-flash-floods-dead-missing At least three killed and four missing after flash floods in Pennsylvania | Pennsylvania