In Chester County, the usual troublespots have flooded, said Patty Mains, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Emergency Services, but Downingtown was particularly hard hit.
The borough of Downingtown was essentially “split in half” by flooding last night, she said. Downingtown Police Lt. Howard Holland said police were just starting to relax as the tributaries of the Brandywine Creek that snake through the borough were visibly receding and the rains had subsided. Then, with no warning, the Brandywine burst over its banks about 5:30 p.m., engulfing Route 30 and Pennsylvania Avenue and making it impossible to travel from one end of the borough to the other.
“It came up so fast,” said Holland. “Areas were flooded in 15 minutes; I’ve never seen anything like that before.” He said members of his department spent nearly six hours instructing residents to move vehicles and preparing for possible evacuations. “Fortunately, it didn’t get to that point,” Holland said. “No one was injured, and no one had to be rescued.”
He said there were some tense moments. “We had some cars waiting to be auctioned in the back [of the police lot], and they had to be moved,” he said. At one point, police feared the water would overtake the police station. “It came up very close,” Hollard said. “We were considering evacuating; it was that close.”