— Tony Ruffolo (@WPXITonyRuffolo) January 12, 2018
Firefighters evacuated residents from parts of Bridgeville this morning as heavy rain and thawing ice nearly caused rising creek waters spill onto the streets.
Although the creek water mostly held at the edges of the banks, there was widespread basement flooding in homes and businesses as the area’s already problematic sewer system was overwhelmed.
Affected areas included Baldwin Street, McLaughlin Run Road, Maple Street, Bank Street, New York Street, Hall Street, Station Street, and even the basement of the Bridgeville municipal building, which was also evacuated.
By late morning, residents were permitted back into their homes to deal with the damage as volunteer firefighters made the rounds to pump water out of basements.
Although basement flooding is a part of life for some residents in low-lying parts of Bridgeville—later this year, the borough plans to provide backflow preventers to buildings in the most frequently impacted neighborhoods—today’s flooding was not preventable, said borough manager Lori Collins.
“Residents and businesses were affected in many areas throughout the borough, including areas not in the flood zone,” she said. “We are planning a backflow preventer project later this year, but this event affected properties with backflow preventers.”
On Baldwin Street, resident Todd Bradley was relatively unfazed, despite having more than feet of water in his basement, his gas line temporarily shut off due to the flooding, and a hole punched in a glass block window as an emergency measure.
“I’m a veteran of living on Baldwin Street,” he said, showing how his washer and dryer were placed on high wooden pedestals to cope with the ever-present threat of flooding.
All along Baldwin Street, pump drains could be seen spitting water from basements out into the street.
“You always have to think that it could be worse,” Bradley said.