Heavy rains cause severe flooding throughout the Philly region


Philadelphia was hit with yet another storm front just days after Thanksgiving, as the National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory.

What started as a mere trickle in the early morning hours grew into a steady, relentless deluge that soaked pedestrians, created dangerous road conditions due to slick roads, and poor visibility. Coastal flooding and flood watch warnings were in effect for most of the day.

“Another round of moderate to heavy rainfall is expected today across much of the area,” the National Weather Service Mt. Holly station warned on social media on Monday. “This rain will be falling on already saturated ground & in areas that still have flooding issues from the heavy rain Sat. night. A flood watch has been issued for much of the region.”

Various problems were reported across the city, which may have been related to the storm. Fender benders and disabled vehicles were reported over the course of the day on various roads, snarling traffic patterns.

On the 1500 block of Pratt Street, near the Frankford Transportation Center, a 65-year-old woman was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m. after she was hit by a Route 5 SEPTA bus. No information was immediately available about how the collision occurred; the bus remained on the scene and police had not reported any arrests by Monday afternoon.

Philadelphia City Hall even had to shut down for the day after a power outage. While it remained unclear whether the cause was connected to the rainfall, at 1:35 p.m. they announced that the seat of municipal government would close for the remainder of the day due to an “unexpected power outage.”

In Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River overflowed its banks along Kelly Drive, leading to the road being closed from Sedgley Drive to Strawberry Mansion. Columbus Boulevard flooded from Spring Garden Street to Dock Street. Numerous roads in Wilmington, Delaware were also reportedly flooded.

In addition to flood and flash flood watches, heavy snow and dangerous wind gusts were forecast in Northwestern Pa., as the ongoing arctic mass toward the Midwestern US brought heavy snow to other states. Motorists were urged to avoid travel if possible and to exercise caution traveling in Northwestern Pa. or along the Allegheny ridges in Southwestern Pa., Gov. Tom Wolf said.

“Heavy lake-effect snow and gusty winds could bring potentially dangerous travel conditions to parts of northwest PA and along the ridgetops of the western Allegheny mountains,” Wolf said in a statement. “Motorists should monitor conditions closely and be alert for rapidly changing conditions.”

According to the governor’s office, the area’s proximity to Lake Erie makes it especially prone to the risk of “lake-effect snow” – which due to high lake moisture can create powerful bands of snow that may reduce visibility to zero and blanket roadways.

Morristown, NJ was under flood watch into late Monday evening.

The heavy precipitation follows the unexpectedly brutal snowstorm of the week before Thanksgiving, noteworthy for the viral appearance of the “snow camel.”

The remainder of the week is not expected to be as precipitation-heavy.

Starting Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Philadelphia area is forecast to have a mostly sunny day with temps ranging from 32 to 43 degrees. Temps will stay in that range all week, with cloudier, windy weather forecast for Wednesday, mostly sunny but still cold weather on Thursday, and a cloudy day ending the week.

Be forewarned, though: while forecasts may chance, early predictions indicate that the following week could be sopping wet – with cold showers in the forecast every day from Saturday, Dec. 1 through every day the following week except Thursday, through to Saturday, Dec. 8.

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