Updated: Worst of Irene passes, but schools closed Monday

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Flooding, wide power outages reported, Brandywine crests Sunday afternoon, schools closed on Monday

By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com

Both sides of the Route 926 bridge over the Brandywine were severly flooded, with brisk currents running well beyond the typical banks of the creek, Sunday.

Although Irene — formerly a hurricane, now down to tropical storm power and headed into New England — has passed through the Unionville area, two remnants remain: wind and the possibility of further flooding as tides rose Sunday afternoon.

One impact on Monday: the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District cancelled classes for what would have been the first day of school, citing flooding and power outages which continue to be an issue in parts of Unionville.

Large areas of Unionville were left without power, as tree limbs and even trees fell around the area, taking out power lines. There was a tornado warning issued Saturday for the northern parts of the Unionville area, but no confirmed reports at this point of tornadoes. Numerous trees are down, with branches in many roadways, and potentially dangerous winds continued into Sunday afternoon.

Flooding along the Brandywine, as seen here along Pocopson and Birmingham townships was extensive as the creek crested Sunday afternoon.

Flooding is still an issue into Sunday afternoon — US 1 is currently closed at Creek Road in Chadds Ford, with road closures at numerous other locations — many of the typical flood areas. The majority of flooding in area appeared to be tidal in nature — non-tidal flood-prone areas, Walnut Street in East Marlborough as an example, weren’t flooded, while areas near the Brandywine were. There were a number of areas where mud collapsed onto roadways, making travel treacherous at times in the area.

Residents are cautioned to be very careful and only drive if necessary, to allow emergency workers to clear road ways and allow PECO crews to restore power. Many traffic lights are out — including US 1 and Route 52, and power is out across a wide stretch of areas, including parts of the US 1 corridor as well parts of East Marlborough, Pennsbury, and Chadds Ford. Most businesses are closed, although a few such as Landhope Farms, remained open.

There were a number of people out looking at the Brandywine, however, gawking at the high waters. Chester County officials have asked people to try to stay off the roads until they can be cleared of trees and limbs and to allow repairs crews from PECO to get around easily.

Flooding shown at Route 1 and Creek Rod in Chadds Ford -- the flooding closed the highway, hours aheads of the expected crest of the Brandywine. Photo by Joanne Bates.

We’ll have more on this as the day develops — if you have news to share, send it to mike@unionvilletimes.com

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4 Comments

  1. MaryAnna says:

    Very nice coverage. Although, some areas were lucky enough to have electricity but they are still without their comcast servces.

    • Mike McGann says:

      Thanks, MaryAnna.

      It’s seems like a mixed bag, with a lot of wires — PECO, Verizon and Comcast falling victim to trees and other debris. Crews are working — I saw them out while surveying damage — so hopefully, you’ll have your service back shortly.

  2. Kate says:

    Great coverage, Mike. I heard the water was up to the top of the basketball hoops at the Brandywine Picnic Park today.

    • Mike McGann says:

      I was there, shooting some shots from the old Simon Pearce and it did appear that the water was at least that high there. It’s some of the most serious flooding I’ve seen in more than a decade, although I think not quite as bad as Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

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