PHILADELPHIA — Record flooding along the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania inundated homes and commercial buildings, swamped highways, submerged cars and disrupted rail service in the Philadelphia area.
Valerie Arkoosh, chairperson of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, said three people died in suburban Montgomery County and a tree fell into a woman’s house in Upper Dublin, killing her. Two other people drowned, one in a home and the other in a car.
In a tweet, city officials predicted “historic flooding” on Thursday as river levels continue to rise. The riverside community of Manayunk remained largely under water.
Emergency workers in the county completed more than 450 water rescues. That is three times the previous record. Rescue efforts were continuing throughout the morning. The National Weather Service was in the area to investigate reports that a tornado touched down.
Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence Jr. said the scope and reach of the damage across the county has been vast.
TRENTON, N.J. — Four people have died in Elizabeth, N.J., overnight as a result of the storm.
Elizabeth spokesperson Kelly Martins says the victims include a 72-year-old woman and her 71-year-old husband along with their 38-year-old son. A 33-year-old woman who was their neighbor also perished. The names of the victims were not released.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday morning toured tornado damage in Mullica Hill in the southern New Jersey Philadelphia suburbs.
Murphy said there were no fatalities from the tornado that left lumber scattered like toothpicks, tore roofs off and collapsed walls. He said there were other deaths in the state but didn’t give details. He said he will speak soon with President Joe Biden and is hopeful to get a major disaster declaration.
He promised to stick with survivors saying, "It won’t be a short road but we will stay with them on that road to recovery.”
WOODBURY, Conn. — An on-duty Connecticut state trooper and his cruiser were swept away in flood waters Thursday morning in the town of Woodbury, just west of Waterbury.
State police and local authorities said the trooper was flown by helicopter to Yale New Haven Hospital. No information on his condition was immediately available and he was not identified.
ELIZABETH, N.J. — Rescue crews are using drones to fly over the swollen banks of a river in Elizabeth near where four people died when the ground-floor units of their apartment complex flooded overnight.
Mayor J. Christian Bollwage told The Associated Press that the fire department rescued hundreds of people from the complex and the surrounding area. The department's local offices next to the Oakwood Plaza apartment complex were also inundated with four feet of flood waters.
“We had to drill down from the second floor of some apartments to get to people in units below to rescue them,” Bollwage said. “We rescued hundreds of people from cars or the tops of their cars.”
The Elizabeth River surged during heavy rains overnight, causing catastrophic flooding. The river is usually not large than a trickle.
Bollwage said New Jersey’s Task Force 1, its prestigious urban search and rescue unit that is often called to disaster scenes across the country, had been able to enter all the apartment units and flooded cars in the complex’s parking lot, and is confident there are no more victims there.
“But we’re putting drones in the air along the riverbanks searching for anybody that might have been swept away,” he said.