Flash flooding and several inches of rain shook southeast Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia on Saturday night, leaving at least four people dead and up to a dozen others missing.
At roughly 5:30 p.m., during the storm’s peak, Bucks County was receiving about four inches of rain per hour, according to officials. More rain fell in two hours than the city of Las Vegas receives in a year, according to Dean Iovino with the National Weather Service.
According to county officials, the water was so severe that it flooded automobiles with people already inside, resulting in their deaths and the disappearance of another family. At least one bridge was found to be in visible bad shape.
In Upper Makefield Township’s Washington Crossing neighborhood, two women and one man were discovered dead. The fourth victim’s identity has not been made public. According to Upper Makefield officials, a family of four with a two-year-old and a nine-month-old is among the unaccounted for.
According to Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck, the number is likely to continue to rise. ‘The number of fatalities could climb,’ she told the Philadelphia Inquirer. ‘It’s only beginning, sadly.’ ‘There’s a lot of water rescues happening right now. There’s a lot going on,’ she added, with Iovino saying there may be as many as a dozen missing. He stated that the county was a “problematic area” for flooding because of its proximity to the Delaware River, and the flash flood was narrowly focused on it.
At the height of the storm, nearby police agencies declared that they were assisting with a search and rescue effort for anyone who had become lost in the flooding. According to a Facebook post from Upper Makefield police, the water has affected a large portion of the community.
‘We apologize for not keeping you updated,’ they wrote. ‘We have been dealing with search and rescue missions. There are numerous places on the township that have been flooded.’