Monday, December 22, 2014

500-1,000 evacuated in Bensalem

Flooding expected alonng Poquessing and Neshaminy Creeks and the Delaware River.

500-1,000 evacuated in Bensalem

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About 500 to 1,000 Bensalem Township residents were ordered to evacuate homes along Neshaminy and Poquessing Creeks and the Delaware River late Monday morning, in anticipation of flooding  from Hurricane Sandy.

Police were notifying residents of 17 streets, plus those in the Lafayette Gardens condo complex and building 75 at the Creekside Apartment complex near Poquessing Creek, Sgt. Andrew Aninsman said in a statement.

Residents of 23 streets near the Neshaminy Creek and seven streets near the Delaware River also were being evacuated, as were those on Galloway Road near the entrance to the Parx Racing stables, Dara Faith Drive and Windsor Drive.

The creeks are expected to overflow their banks, especially during high tide at 2 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday, Aninsman said.

For the list of evacuated streets, go to www.bensalempolice.org.

At 5 a.m. Monday, the Bucks County  Emergency Operations Center was opened to deal with the approaching storm.   

Emergency shelters are open at Council Rock North School, 62 Swamp Road, NewtownPennsbury East High School,  Hood Boulevard, Fairless Hills; and Palisades High School, 35 Church Hill Road, Kintnersville. Pennsbury East and Palisades are pet friendly; pets are not permitted at Council Rock North.

All non-essential county government offices are closed. Commissioner Chairman Rob Loughery signed a Declaration of Emergency for the county on Sunday.

Residents are urged to remain alert and watch rivers and streams. When rivers and streams such as the Delaware River and Neshaminy Creek rise, nearby residents should move quickly to higher ground, officials said in a statement.

“Don’t drive into low-lying areas or over roads and bridges that are already under water,” Loughery said. “The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route. Turn around, don’t drown.”

Officials will monitor the storm from the Emergency Operations Center in Ivyland with officials from the 54 municipalities, Loughery said. County and local emergency management officials will deploy emergency assistance as needed.

“We also are compiling a list of communities that have filed emergency declarations,” he said.

The county Fire Marshal’s office advised residents of potential hazards when there is a power outage:

  • Do not use generators, propane gas grills, heaters, lanterns or charcoal grills inside buildings. There is a danger of lethal carbon monoxide poisoning from any of those sources.
  • Candles should be covered with glass shields and placed at least 12 inches away from items that burn.
  • Propane tanks should be turned off.
  • Propane and gasoline should not be stored indoors.
  • Homes should maintain active working smoke detectors.

Storm notification alerts are available by signing up for ReadyNotifyPA.org, which is linked to the home page of the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org.

Residents can “like” Bucks County Govt on Facebook and follow @BucksCountyGovt on Twitter for updates. They also can check www.buckscounty.org for more detailed information.

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About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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