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2020 News

Isaias Wreaks Havoc on Bucks with Heavy Rain, High Winds, Power Outages

August 4, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

 Tropical storm Isaias ripped through Bucks County for much of the day Tuesday, leaving behind a trail of downed trees, power outages, property damage and way too much water.

By 4 p.m., with most of the storm departed, more than 100,000 Bucks County households or businesses were without power, almost 97,000 of them serviced by PECO. Roughly 42 percent of PECO’s Bucks County clientele was affected. 

High winds damaged buildings and dropped trees onto vehicles, power lines and structures throughout the county, leaving several long-term care facilities dependent on generator power, blocking dozens of roadways and lighting up the phone lines of tree services and insurance adjustors. Z-DSC_0288

Despite the widespread damage, no deaths or life-threatening injuries were reported in the county by late afternoon.

The most harrowing episode came shortly before noon, when powerful, destructive winds passed through Doylestown Township, striking the Doylestown Health campus at Routes 202 and 611. While a tornado has not yet been confirmed, the winds were strong enough to overturn vehicles parked outside the hospital and tear off part of the roof of Children’s Village, a privately operated preschool and daycare on the hospital grounds.

Approximately 135 children, ranging in age from six months to five years were inside Children’s Village when the winds hit, slightly injuring four children and two adult staff members, said hospital spokesman Ron Watson. Teachers helped escort the children into the first floor radiation vault of the hospital’s Cancer Institute until the winds passed, at which time the children were taken to nearby Lenape Middle School for pickup. Z-DSC_0095 (2)

“God bless those teachers,” said Watson, adding that assessment of the damage to the Cancer Institute and other hospital property is underway. He thanked law enforcement and county emergency responders for providing assistance.

Flooding was also an issue, especially in Upper Bucks, where water proved to be more troublesome than the wind damage that ravaged Central and Lower Bucks. Across the region, the storm dumped between five to seven inches or rain, with as much as six and one-half inches in some parts of Bucks.

“It’s as if we had two storms – one in the lower part of the county with heavy wind damage, and one in the upper end where flooding was the major issue,” said Bucks County Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster.

Flooding in Perkasie forced the evacuation of the Covered Bridge apartment complex on South Second Street. More than 100 residents were taken to Pennridge High School for temporary shelter.

More than 25 marine rescues also were performed. A majority were to assist motorists whose vehicles were stranded on flooded roadways.

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