- Water rescues were ongoing due to flooding in New Jersey.
- Part of Trenton was under a voluntary evacaution.
- Homes were ripped apart by tornadoes in Pennsylvania.
A string of tornadoes tore across the Philadelphia metropolitan area Wednesday evening, trapping people in their homes, damaging buildings, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power.
Some places are facing a double threat of flooding and tornadoes.
The weather was spawned by the remnants of what once was Hurricane Ida, which brought pounding rain and high winds across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast Wednesday.
Multiple tornadoes were reported, homes were flooded and water rescues were ongoing in eastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey and in Maryland.
One person was killed when floodwaters filled the bottom floor of an apartment building in Maryland.
We’re posting the latest updates below.
New Jersey Mayor Describes Tornado Damage
The mayor of Harrison Township, New Jersey, spoke to The Weather Channel late Wednesday night about the tornado damage in Mullica Hill where some homes were left in splintered ruin.
“We have several residents who have been in the path directly and therefore had their owns home leveled and others in close proximity with hardly any damage at all,” Mayor Lou Manzo said.
“There were a few that needed to be rescued for lack of a better term from their home because they had sheltered in the basements and the entire foundation of their house had shifted or had come down. We are only by the grace of god lucky enough to this point that there was only one injury that required going to the hospital.”
The town is in Gloucester County, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.
Baggage Area Flooded at Newark Airport
Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed at Newark Liberty International Airport, where video posted at about 9:30 p.m. by WABC-TV showed a baggage handling area underwater. Travelers at airports around New York City were advised to check with their airlines for the latest flight information.
Water Poured Into Homes in Lambertville, New Jersey
Floodwaters covered streets and inundated homes and cars in Lambertville, about 15 miles northwest of Trenton.
Posts on social media said water was a few feet high in some homes.
Voluntary Evacuations Called in Part of Trenton, New Jersey
Residents in the Island neighborhood of Trenton were advised to evacuate Wednesday due to fears of flooding from the Delaware River.
The city said the power grid would be turned off in the area at 8 a.m. Thursday.
A shelter was opened at Joyce Kilmer School.
A state of emergency was declared for the city.
Injuries Reported in New Jersey Flooding
Seven people were injured when a building roof collapsed amid flash flooding in Hudson County, New Jersey.
The incident happend at the post office in Kearny, northeast of Newark. There are also multiple roads in the area with significant flooding.
Water Rescues Ongoing in Many Areas
First responders in Essex County, New Jersey, were rescuing people trapped in their cars by floodwaters at around 8 p.m., including multiple drivers stranded in the town of Livingston.
Multiple rescues were also ongoing in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Police there sent out an emergency alert advising people to remain indoors and stay off roadways.
Multiple Roads Closed
Dozens of roads are closed or have water on them in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and other parts of the Northeast.
Life-Threatening Flooding to Continue Overnight
The potential for heavy rainfall will expand northward across the East through Wednesday night and then could linger into early Thursday along the Northeast coast. Find the latest forecast here.
People Trapped in Their Homes in Gloucester County, New Jersey
A 911 dispatcher in Mantua Township, N.J., told weather.com that people were trapped in their basements, roofs were gone and there were reports of some injuries, including broken bones.
The township is in Gloucester County, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.
Video from the Gloucester County town of Mullica Hill showed homes ripped apart.
Multiple Reports of Damaged Homes in Pennsylvania
There were also reports of multiple buildings with roofs ripped off, downed trees and debris blocking roads to the north of Philadelphia in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and homes were damaged in Chester County.
Tens of Thousands Without Power
More than 100,000 home and business were without power across Pennsylvania as of about 8:15 p.m., according to poweroutage.us. About 25,000 outages were being reported in New Jersey.
Here are the latest updates on this developing situation. Check back frequently for more information.
Water Levels Receding at Wilmore Dam
Officials hoped residents in the Wilmore area of Cambria County, Pennsylvania could return home this evening.
Art Martynuska, the county’s emergency management director, told The Associated Press that water receding at the Wilmore Dam. Concerns over rising water there had prompted a flash flood emergency and the evacuation of hundreds of residents earlier in the day.
Camri County officials were working to dispel rumors that the dam was working as planned and did not fail.
“Wilmore dam hasn’t failed. If any dam would fail in Cambria County, every phone number across the county would be getting an emergency alert about it,” Martynuska told the Tribune-Democrat. “It would be as whole different situation we’d be dealing with right now. And there would be alerts to everyone.”
70,000+ Without Power in Pennsylvania
More than 70,000 homes and businesses were without power in Pennsylvania as of about 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to poweroutage.us. More than 20,000 of those were to teh North of Philadelphia in Montgomery County where a tornado was reported and flooding and water rescues were ongoing.
At Least 100 Homes Damaged in Maryland Tornado
More than 100 homes sustained severe damage after a tornado tore through Edgewater, Maryland, Wednesday afternoon, according to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. The twister tore through the Annapolis area, ripping off roofs, knocking down trees and taking down power lines.
Coach Describes Damage at High School
Chuck Jeffries, an assistant volleyball coach at South River High School in Edgewater, Maryland, was on his way to a practice Wednesday afternoon when severe weather moved across there and nearby Annapolis.
He told the Capital-Gazette what he saw during and after the storm.
“I’m heading east on [Maryland Route] 214, and I see that funnel cloud from my right to my left. I never seen a live tornado before, but it was obvious to me it was a tornado. So I pulled over and watched it pass,” he told the newspaper.
“Once I got closer to the school, it looked like a war zone.”
Trees and power lines were down and the roof peeled back from the football stadium’s concession stand.
“It looked like a tornado came right up the football field,” Jeffries said.
Substantial Damage in Annapolis Area, Fire Department Says
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department says there is “substantial damage” in the Londontown/Mayo/Edgewater area southwest of Annapolis. Mutual agencies are assisting.
As of about 4 p.m., there have been no reports of injuries.
School Activities Canceled in Anne Arundel County
All school-sponsored activities, including sports and back to school events, are canceled Wednesday evening in Anne Arundel County.
The school district said staff is being dismissed where possible and arrangements are being made for families to retrieve students sheltering in buildings.
“School system staff are being dismissed from buildings as conditions become safe to do so and should proceed cautiously to their home or other destination. Students who are sheltering in buildings will receive instructions from school-based staff as to how to arrange for families to pick them up. Students at schools will remain supervised until they are picked up.”
Roads Shut Down After Tornado in Annapolis
Annapolis police are closing some streets due to downed trees and storm damage. Police said parts of West Street and Forest Street would be closed for “an extended period of time.”
Residents in the area were advised to avoid travel.
Tornado Causes Damage in Maryland
Power lines are down and the roof ripped off at least one home after a tornado moved through the Annapolis, Maryland, area on Wednesday afternoon. Images shared to social media a home that appeared to be missing its roof and a street covered with toppled poles and other debris.
Flash Flood Emergency in Pennsylvania
Evacuations were underway around 1:30 p.m. in the Wilmore community in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, due to rising water at a nearby dam, the Tribune-Democrat reported.
A flash flood emergency was issued by the National Weather Service for towns and cities immediately below Wilmore Dam on the North Branch Little Conemaugh River.
About 240 people live in the community that was evacuated. Local officials said it was a precautionary step because water was almost 3 feet over the dam’s spillway and continuing to rise, but had not overtopped the dam, according to the Tribune-Democrat.
Specialized rescue teams were placed on standby if needed.
Fire Chief Bob Burkett told WJAC-TV that the lower portion of Summerhill Borough was also being evacuated.
Residents from both areas were being taken to a local church, and school buses were being rerouted there as well, Burkett said.
The area is about 67 miles east of Pittsburgh.
One Person Confirmed Dead in Montgomery County, Maryland
A 19-year-old man was confirmed dead after flooding at an apartment complex early this morning in Rockville, Maryland. Montgomery County Fire Rescue Special Operations Chief Daniel Ogren told weather.com in a phone call Wednesday.
Ogren said residents described waking up overnight with water filling their apartments. Some stood on beds and other furniture as the water rose higher and higher. Trapped residents couldn’t escape because water was blocking doors and windows, too, Ogren said.
A dozen apartments were completely destroyed. Ogren described them as being “terrace level” units in a bowl-like area below the main ground level apartments, and down a series of steps from the parking lot.
There isn’t a body of water nearby, but Ogren said there was torrential rainfall in a short period of time.
Video from WJLA-TV showed a torrent of water rushing downhill toward the apartments.
Montgomery County police spokesperson Shiera Goff told local media that fire and rescue received multiple calls about flooding around 3:50 a.m. at Rock Creek Woods Apartments.
Goff said rescue crews were able to “evacuate about 10 people from their windows.”
Officials had previously said two people were missing. The other person was still missing, but Ogren said all the apartments and the immediate area around them had been searched thoroughly.
“We’re leaning, and hoping, that this person was not home” when the flooding hit, Ogren said.
Rockville is about 16 miles north of Washington, D.C.
National Guard Troops Activated in Pennsylvania
About 100 National Guard personnel are preparing high water vehicles to aid in evacuations if necessary, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Director David Padfield said in a news conference Wednesday morning.
Gov. Tom Wolf asked residents to avoid travel.
“Please if you can stay home today, please stay home,” Wolf said.
Padfield advised those in affected areas to monitor conditions closely.
“Have an evacuation plan with at least two travel routes if you need to move from your residence or to higher ground,” he said.
Padfield noted that power outages are also a concern due to recent rainfall from other storms and heavy foliage on trees this time of year.
Speed Limit Lowered on PA Turnpike
As of 10:30 a.m., the speed limit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike was lowered between Pittsburgh exit 57 ad Morgantown exit 298. The DOT said the slow down was due to rain and reduced visibility.
People in Borough of Etna Advised to Leave Now
The Borough of Etna, on the northeast side of Pittsburgh, issued an alert about flooding from Pine Creek at around 9:30 a.m. Residents living “in the floodplain or near the creek at all” were told to leave immediately.
“If you are unable to evacuate at this time due to physical limitations, please call 911 NOW,” the alert said. “If you chose not to evacuate at this time, you may be forced to weather out the storm as flood waters may be too dangerous for emergency personnel to reach you.”
Video from WPXI-TV showed crews clearing debris from the rapidly rising creek.
Evacuations Underway Northeast, Southwest of Pittsburgh
Officials ordered some residents to evacuate as floodwaters rose in the town of Bridgeville, southwest of Pittsburgh. The evacuation order affected people who live on Baldwin Street and McLaughlin Run, according to the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department.
Swift water teams were entering the area to assist with evacuations, county officials said. A disaster emergency was also declared in the borough by Mayor Betty Copeland.
Northeast of Pittsburgh, Valley High School was evacuated and students were sent home Wednesday morning in New Kensington, according to a local report.
School Buses Stranded in Flooding With Children Aboard Near Pittsburgh
At least two school buses were stranded in floodwaters Wednesday morning in Allegheny County, not far from Pittsburgh. In Stowe Township, a bus with eight children aboard was stuck on a flooded road, but rescue crews safely removed the children from the bus and they were safely transported to their school, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In another instance, a bus that was carrying kids was stranded on a flooded Seavey Road in Shaler Township. Those children were also safely rescued, according to local reports.
Water Rescues Reported in Pittsburgh; Flood Gates Activated
Pittsburgh Public Safety said numerous water rescues were needed Wednesday morning as drivers became stranded in floodwaters. Roads were flooded and the flood gates were activated along Washington Boulevard as flooding worsened.
2 Unaccounted For After Overnight Flooding in Rockville, Maryland
Hundreds of people were displaced and crews continued to search for two people who were unaccounted for after overnight flooding in Rockville, Maryland, north of Washington D.C. Fire Chief Scott Goldstein told WJLA.com that the water rose so high in some units at the Rock Creek Woods Apartments, it reached the ceiling and knocked out the power, likely for days.
Down the street, several units at the Congressional Towers Apartments also had severe flooding that rose quickly in the middle of the night.
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