COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) – While flooding conditions along the Schuylkill River were a big concern for the wider region as Hurricane Irene passed by, it was the Perkiomen Creek that caused major problems and damage in the Collegeville area.
At the edge of Collegeville, at Route 29 and First Avenue, the Perkiomen Creek roared out of its banks, rising past the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel, covering the lot of a car dealership across the street, and rushing through creekside homes along Route 29, also known as First Avenue.
Dan Montalto, his wife, Lisa, and three children –- ages 11, 8, and 4 –- were chased out Sunday morning.
“Seven o’clock yesterday morning, we got woken up and there was water all up to my front door,” Montalto (right) recalls. “At 4 o’clock in the morning I checked the creek and it was still kind of like that. And, out of nowhere, within three hours it made it all the way up to my front door.”
So what did he do?
“I got my kids, grabbed all my stuff, I just went across the street.”
Montalto says the water rose more than five feet inside the first-floor apartment and, when it finally receeded, their home was a muddy, waterlogged mess. There was little left to be salvaged.
Still, he tried to find some humor in the loss.
“My couch tried to make it’s way down to my son’s room by itself! I mean, look at it,” he told KYW Newsradio with a chuckle. Then, more soberly, “That’s brand new. We just got that last year -– a $900 couch. That floated away. Well, it’s destroyed.”
He says in addition to food, furniture, and other living necessities, the family also lost all the school clothing and supplies it had just purchased for the start of school next week.
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060