5.5 inches of rain prompts evacuations, more than 60 water rescues
The water is receding, and now the necessary mop-up will begin. And if county officials had their way, no one would be on the roads right now since many sections remain closed and the recovery will take some time.
The heavy rains – Chester County is reporting 5.5 inches – necessitated 120 road closures, 62 water rescues, and three residential rescues. First-responders throughout the county revved up into overdrive: The Department of Emergency Services (DES) recorded 233 fire incidents and 1,014 police incidents.
Fortunately, the county reported no injuries; however, evacuations occurred at the Avondale Apartments in Avondale, Meredith Court in Modena, the 100 block of Pratts Dam Road in West Brandywine, four to five homes on Cottage Lane in East Bradford, 70 homes on Icedale Road in West Brandywine and Honey Brook Townships, and Saw Mill Road off of Mortonville in East Fallowfield. In addition to the flooded roads, a sinkhole opened up in Caln Township at Wedgewood Road and U.S. 30.
County officials said the Brandywine Creek at Chadds Ford crested at 16.05 feet overnight; flood stage is nine. The East Branch of the Brandywine in Downingtown crested at 13.5 feet, 6.5 feet above flood stage. Officials stress that although the water is falling, the process is slow and may take until Friday, May 2.
In the meantime, the county urges residents to observe any posted road closure signs and barricades. It is illegal in Pennsylvania to knowingly drive around them, and violators could face two points added to their driver’s license and a fine up to $250.