Tropical Storm Isaias made a windy, soggy mess of the region Tuesday, Aug. 4, flooding basements and roads and tearing down trees that knocked out power for more than 300,000 customers.

The storm triggered flash flood warnings from the National Weather Service, as well as a tornado warning and a tornado watch, many of which had been canceled by 5 p.m.

Flood warnings remained in place for the Schuylkill River in Reading, Pottstown and Norristown. At 5 p.m. Aug. 4 the river was 12.2 feet. Flood stage is 11 feet.

The river gauge at Pottstown showed just over five inches of rain fell during the storm.

Montgomery County’s 911 center received 2,959 calls between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to Todd Stieritz, public affairs coordinator for the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety.

He said the center had the most volume with 695 calls for service between 11 a.m. and noon.

There were 94 water rescues were executed throughout the county from 7:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., according to Stieritz.

So many roads were closed in Douglass (Berks), where the Manatawny and Ironstone creeks both burst their banks, that the police department ran out of barricades.

PECO reported a total of 287,000 customers without power as of 6 p.m.; 102,700 of them in Chester County, 54,000 in Montgomery County and 23,640 in Delaware County.

MetEd reported 19,992 customers without power in Berks County.

Most of that power loss was due to down trees.

For 33 years, Deborah Olson has lived in her 94-year-old home in Douglass (Berks), set into a hill alongside Manatawny Drive between Colebrookdale Road and Rattlesnake Hill Road.

And Aug. 4, for the first time, it was both hit by a tree and visited by a news reporter who wanted to ask her about the tree which had fallen across the road, pulled down power lines and was leaning up against her porch.

"My electricity was already out when all of a sudden I heard this crash about 12:30," she told that reporter. "I had been hearing big crashes up in the woods and I was worried about the trees in my yard."

Near where the Ironstone Creek joins the Manatawny, floodwaters were everywhere.

Flooding was particularly bad near the Colebrookdale Railroad bridge over the creek.

Turbulent floodwaters backed up behind the narrow, insufficient bridge opening onto the property at 137 Pine Forge Road, where residents could be seen watching helplessly as waters rose closer to their front door.

The location is a melancholy one, made more so by the roadside memorial that has been located there for a little more than a year.

It is dedicated to 31-year-old Pamela Vera Snyder and her son 9-year-old son Preston Dray whose car was swept from that spot into the creek on July 11, 2019.

MediaNews Group Writers Rachel Ravina, Dan Sokil and Bob Keeler contributed to this report.

comments powered by Disqus