Heavy Rain in Pennsylvania Prompts Rescues, Wind Damages Hospital Day Care

August 6, 2020

High winds partially tore the roof off a day care center on the grounds of a suburban Philadelphia hospital, injuring four children, as heavy rains flooded rivers and streams, prompting water rescues, evacuation calls and a search for a young person swept away in one creek.

Bucks County government officials said in a Twitter post that high winds around Doylestown Hospital partially tore the roof off the day care center at Children’s Village, a private preschool on the hospital grounds. Officials said “winds were strong enough to overturn vehicles in (the) parking lot.”

Doylestown Health said four children and some staff members were treated for minor injuries, and all of the children were moved to a local middle school to reunite with family.

The city’s fire commissioner, Adam Thiel, said members of the fire department were performing “multiple water rescues across the city” and police also warned of flooding and stalled cars. The city office of emergency management noted a Schuylkill River flood warning for small streams and low-lying areas. The suburban borough of Conshohocken urged residents and businesses in one section to evacuate due to flash flooding.

In Delaware County in the Philadelphia suburbs, searchers were looking for a young person who fell or jumped from a small bridge into Ridley Creek at the end of a state park shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday and hadn’t resurfaced in the fast-moving water.

County director of emergency services Timothy Boyce said searchers had been looking for the victim over a mile of the waterway for more than an hour, but trees and debris and water overflowing the creek banks was hampering the effort. “Hopefully, they’re clinging to a tree,” he said.

The Schuylkill River was projected to crest in Philadelphia overnight at 15.4 feet, second highest on record (the highest was 17 feet in 1869). The river was projected to crest at more than 20 feet in Norristown, the fifth-highest crest at that location.

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