Wudder World

Maybe you couldn’t say Isaias, but the flooding from the tropical storm was impossible to miss.

Flood waters on Kelly Drive, East Falls. (Courtesy: Ray Banas, Facebook)

Philly could’ve gotten hit harder last month by tropical storm Isaias. We missed the tornadoes that hit Doylestown, Smyrna, Del., and the Jersey Shore. But we couldn’t dodge the floodwaters. Upstream in Norristown, the Schuylkill crested at 20.55 feet (5th highest mark since 1933) and downstream, near Boathouse Row, it crested at 13.28 feet (tied for 10th highest mark since 1869).*

Manayunk’s Main Street turned into a stream, and 69th Street resembled a lake. Three barges broke loose from their moorings on the Schuylkill and lodged under the Vine Street Expressway Bridge, closing the Vine Street Expressway for days while crews worked to remove the barges and inspect the bridge itself. Water seeped over the edges of the Schuylkill Banks, submerging parts of the recreation trail. Here in East Falls, Kelly Drive was completely submerged as were long stetches of Lincoln Drive.

Unfortunately, experts are warning that floods of this sort are likely to become more common. Last winter was Philly’s wettest in over a century, according to the National Weather Service, with nine flood warnings issued. The city is even gaming out relocation plans for entire at-risk neighborhoods, like Eastwick and Germantown.

* For other cool historical weather/flooding info, visit water.weather.gov.

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