The rainstorm that flooded the Schuylkill Banks, left passengers stranded on the roof of a SEPTA bus, and forced the grade-level CSX pedestrian crossing at Locust Street to close, also caused considerable damage at the Fairmount Water Works.
Now Fairmount Water Works - the Philadelphia Water Department's (PWD) watershed education center - is looking to raise $25,000 in order to get back on its feet. In the meantime, environmental educators are traveling to the schools that had scheduled field trips to the Water Works, and Water Works tours are being held entirely outdoors.
On April 30, as heavy rain slammed the region, Fairmount Water Works checked in with the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Around 3:30 p.m., NOAA predicted the Schuylkill River would crest at 12.1 feet at 8 a.m. By 5:30 p.m., Water Works staff began moving equipment to high ground - knowing that, since the Water Works was designed as a pumping station, some water would enter the space.
Staff worked to move equipment from the predicted flood zone until 10 p.m., when enough water had seeped into the Water Works to make conditions unsafe.