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Five people are dead and two children were missing in Bucks County after heavy rains and flash flooding took a disastrous toll over the weekend.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, some 4.5 inches of rain fell during a two-hour period on Saturday, ending around 6 p.m., as thunderstorms sparked “destructive” flooding in suburban Upper Makefield in Bucks County.
As of Sunday afternoon, rescuers also were searching for three people, including two children, according to the Inquirer. One body, an adult, later was recovered.
“Our commitment to finding the two children will still be unwavering,” Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said, according to the Inquirer.
The children were part of a family visiting from Charleston, S.C., who were en route to a barbecue when they became trapped in the flash flood, 6ABC in Philadelphia reported, citing Brewer.
The National Weather Service had the entire region under a 24-hour flood watch on Sunday, the newspaper further reported.
“In my 44 years, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Brewer said, according to the television station. “When the water came up, it came up very swiftly. We do not think that anybody drove into it, that they were actively on that road when it happened.”
There was “approximately four to five feet of water over the road,” Brewer said, adding that there were about 11 cars on the road at the time, with three swept away by the water, 6ABC reported.
In all, 10 people were rescued, the station reported.
Gov. Josh Shapiro and U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa.,visited the area on Sunday afternoon, according to news reports.
“This is a moment that calls on all of us to come together to lift up Upper Makefield and the Bucks County community and that is exactly what we are doing,” Shapiro said, according to 6ABC.
The Democratic governor also pledged his support.
“On behalf of more 13 million Pennsylvanians, I want Bucks County to know that we are here with you, we are praying with you and will continue to do everything in our power to lift you up,” Shapiro said, according to 6ABC.
Meanwhile, in the Lehigh Valley, the Bushkill Park near Easton was underwater, and water inundated streets around the Slate Belt, LehighValleyNews.com reported.
Flash flood warnings imposed by the National Weather Service covering parts of the the Lehigh Valley expired Sunday morning, the website reported,.
That included one that stretched until 9:45 a.m. in the Easton area and the Slate Belt, the website reported.
— NVP Alerts (@NVPAlerts) July 16, 2023
Emergency management officials in Northampton County told the website they were responding to “severe flash flooding,” in Lower Mount Bethel Township, where roads were flooded, and, in at least one instance, were washed away.
“There are currently numerous roads that are flooded there, and therefore, impassable,” county officials said in a statement posted to social media, the website reported.
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