Flash Floods Plague Pa.

Monday, July 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dozens of people were rescued from about 100 flooded homes and vehicles after heavy rains turned streets into rivers and washed out bridges.

Some 25 to 30 people were evacuated from homes Sunday in southeast Bucks County. Red Cross spokesman Ed Meyers said about 100 homes were affected by the flooding.

Fire Chief David Whitaker at Station 6 in Lower Southampton called the flooding ``horrendous'' and said it was worse than the problems caused by Hurricane Floyd in September.

``It's the most I've seen come down at one time,'' Whitaker said. An evacuation center had been set up at the station but no one had come yet, he said.

At the height of the storm, about 12,000 customers were without power in Delware, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, said PECO spokesman Michael Wood. About 3,700 remained without power at 11 p.m. and were expected to regain power by early morning, he said.

The storm system parked itself over Pennsylvania after picking up moisture from the southern Great Lakes, said Rich Kane, a National Weather Service forecaster in suburban Pittsburgh.

``This storm system is just so moist, and there is so much available moisture to be squeezed out of the atmosphere,'' Kane said. ``It's moving really slow and just dumping torrents and torrents of rain.''

Lower Southampton police said they were going door to door along parts of the river to alert residents and evacuate them if necessary. In Warrington Township, some residents were also being evacuated, a fire department official said.

About 13,000 homes and businesses served by Duquesne Light Co. were without electricity Sunday night following the storm in Pittsburgh and its suburbs. The company was expecting to restore power Monday morning.

In eastern Lycoming and northern Columbia County, slow-moving thunderstorms caused what forecasters called ``torrential'' rains. Up to 5 inches of rain fell on Benton, Columbia County, flooding one house and washing out a bridge on route 254, forecasters said.