After a flash flood swept away a road in southeastern Pennsylvania on Saturday evening, five people were found dead and two children are still missing. A boy who is 9 months old and a girl who is 2 years old have gone missing.
Around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, officials in Makefield Township, Bucks County, reported severe rains in the Washington Crossing region. Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said the family was from Charleston, South Carolina, at a press conference on Sunday.
They were caught in the flash flood while on their way to a BBQ. The father and grandmother took the boy, then 4, and escaped. The two younger children were taken by their mother. But authorities say the woman and her two missing children were carried away by the river.
Brewer stated that five of the seven people reported missing following the flood had been found. According to Brewer, one of the bodies is the mother. “We continue to look for the two children. We are not going to give up, regardless,” Brewer said at Sunday’s press conference.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Update: Death toll rises to 4 in Bucks County flash flooding. https://t.co/naDNterFpG
— The Morning Call (@mcall) July 16, 2023
“The weather is a factor, but at this point we are going to continue the operation and set things in motion for tomorrow as well.” “This is a moment that calls on all of us to come together to lift up Upper Makefield and the Bucks County community and that is exactly what we are doing,” said Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro.
Brewer told the media that they received 6.5–7 inches of rain in just 45 minutes on Saturday. “In my 44 years, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “When the water came up, it came up very swiftly. We do not think that anybody drove into it, that they were actively on that road when it happened.”
Brewer stated that during the course of the weekend, eight people were saved from vehicles and two from a creek. No one was found in any of the three vehicles that were washed away and later found. About a mile and a half separated one from the creek’s entry point.
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“We truly appreciate the outpouring of support and concern for the families of this tragedy, our emergency personnel, and our community as a whole. We cannot fathom the grief these families are experiencing and we will do everything we can to assist them during this extremely difficult time,” Brewer said.
“On behalf of more 13 million Pennsylvanians, I want Bucks County to know that we are here with you, we are praying with you, and will continue to do everything in our power to lift you up,” added Shapiro. On Sunday, law enforcement in Upper Makefield, Pennsylvania, provided a list of roadways that were still closed.
– Taylorsville Road from Route 532 to Route 295
– River Road by Francisco’s
– River Road between Route 532 and Mt. Eyre Road
Authorities also remind people to not travel through flooded roadways. On Saturday night, he estimated that 150 people would search the creek, and on Sunday morning, he estimated that 100 people would walk along the creek.
“THE SKY OPENED UP”
Action News has been warned by locals that the flooding is severe. “There were about five to seven minutes in there when, really, the sky opened up,” said Nick Primola from Yardley. He reported to Action News that he saw vehicles being washed away, turned over, and left in the highways.
“I guess it was just fortunate timing because the people who were there probably just 10 minutes before didn’t have as much luck. They really didn’t have any warning and they were caught up in it,” said Primola.
Primola said it was impossible to prepare for the rain because it came and went so swiftly. “I haven’t seen anything like this before this quickly. I mean this is an area where there are a lot of waterways, so people are used to flooding, but I think that’s why it snuck up on these people who were driving,” he said.
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A few inches of rain turned a portion of Newtown Township into a raging river. You could probably wade in (the water) up to your ankles, but it would reach my waist right now. Newtown Township resident Morgan Moreira praised the song’s “flowing” quality.
RESIDENTS ASKED TO REPORT DAMAGE
If you live or run a business in Upper Makefield Township and have suffered damage, please contact the police. The municipality requests that residents and business owners contact them on Monday.
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