PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Record rainfall flooded roads, stranded motorists and residents, prompted water rescues around the region and claimed the life of a woman in Collegeville. The storm dumped 11-inches of rain on Garterford, Montgomery County, and just an inch or two less on surrounding suburbs. Nearly five inches of rain fell in Philadelphia and dozens of schools were closed for the day.
The Schuylkill River in Philadelphia rapidly approached flood levels. The water level continued to rise as the day progressed, even after the rain stopped, because it takes ground water some time to travel to the river.
The city of Philadelphia opened two shelters in case residents get flooded out of their homes.
In Collegeville, police found an unidentified woman dead in her car just after 6 a.m. on Stump Hill Road near Kratz Road. Investigators believe the 55-year-old woman may have gone off the road because flood waters obscured her view of the edge of the road.
Pennsylvania State Police reported flooding to some extent just about everywhere in the area. Motorists were urged to drive carefully because standing water often comes out of nowhere, a couple of feet deep in some places.
In Chester County, several areas that flood regularly were causing problems. Chaddsford, Downingtown and North Coventry were the hardest hit. In Honeybrook Township, several motorists were stranded on the roof of their car at Birdell and Wild Flower Road, awaiting rescue from police.
In New Jersey, homes and roads were flooded in several Camden County communities. Dispatchers say cars were floating all over the place. When asked for a particular location, the dispatcher paused and said, “just everywhere.”
In Burlington County, flooding was reported on Route 70 in Marlton, Route 541 in Mount Holly and on Unionville in Mount Laurel. Rt. 70 at Cropwell was shut down in both directions.
In Edgemoor, Delaware, a main roadway into an apartment complex was washed out, stranding residents in their complex, with no way in, or out.
At the height of the storm, PECO reported a little less than 10,000 customers without power — most of those outages were in Delaware and Chester Counties. The rest are scattered throughout Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
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Reported By: Pat Loeb, Kim Glovas, Mike DeNardo, Michelle Durham (KYW Newsradio) and Dray Clark, Jerika Duncan (CBS 3)