Delaware Valley Preps For Impending Floods

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Businesses on the lower end of Manayunk along the banks of the Schuylkill River are keeping an eye on the raising water level.

Jane Lipton, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corporation, says the river narrows right as it reaches Manayunk and that generally puts levels along the banks of some businesses higher.

While they’re in flood watch mode right now, Lipton says there is some encouraging news.

“Current reports are that by 6 o’clock tomorrow(Friday) morning, the levels will be at 11 feet. And, we expect to crest at 1 p.m. at 12.4 feet. If, in fact, those numbers are real then Main Street, Manyunk, will not flood because we have at least another two feet to spare above that.”

Lipton says the three businesses that could be affected by any flooding, already have a plan ready to go if they need to move items to higher ground.

Businesses on the lower end of Manayunk along the banks of the Schuylkill River are keeping an eye on the raising water level.

Emergency personnel in Darby are watching the towns upstream to the north and west. If places like Newtown Square start to flood, that is the best indication trouble is coming once again.

Whether it’s the fire department organizing ring buoy’s and throwing ropes or a pizzeria manager laying sandbags in between spinning pizza dough, the preparations in Darby are done. Now it’s time to wait.

“I think one inch is enough to give us a flood,” said resident Sammy Khidr.

The last flood that tore through in October destroyed cars and sent rescue crews into people’s homes. A washed up boat and other debris strewn across the creek bank still lay where the flood waters left them.

Bill Gomez has since cleared out most of his garage and installed sub-pumps after the last flood brought nearly 4 ft of water into his garage.

“Everything was damaged. Everything was damaged,” Gomez said.

If the Darby Creek spills over its banks, the worst of it is expected to happen overnight.

Darby volunteer fire fighters will be staying around the clock at the fire department watching the rising waters of the Darby Creek.

“We put all our flotation gear on a truck. We stage our apparatus,” Darby Volunteer Fire Fighter Bill Chiz said.

The possibility of severe weather and flooding may affect SEPTA service on Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11, 2011, For more information from SEPTA, please visit

Reported by Todd Quinones, CBS 3; Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio

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