NORRISTOWN, PA — Montgomery County officials released updated information late Thursday on the County’s response to the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Even though the storm has moved out of the area, many sections of Montgomery County are still underwater or severely damaged. Travel remains strongly discouraged.
The death toll from the storm has now risen to four Montgomery County residents. Three fatalities are currently under investigation by the Montgomery County Coroner and a fourth Montgomery County resident died in Bucks County and was pronounced by the Bucks County Coroner.
Due to the severity of the damage from this storm, the County has issued a disaster declaration, which will enable the collection of any potential subsequent reimbursement for storm-related response and damage.
The National Weather Service has investigated an area that sustained significant damage during the storm last night and has determined that an EF-2 tornado with winds of up to 130 miles per hour touched down in Upper Dublin Township and Horsham Township.
The Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Communications Center answered 6,538 calls for assistance between 11 a.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. on Thursday, which is approximately three times the number of calls received during a typical 24-hour period. The busiest hour was between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, when 1,067 calls were received. More than 452 water rescues were dispatched during the storm, many of which involved the rescue of multiple individuals.
Approximately 27,000 customers were still without power in Montgomery County as of 5 p.m. Thursday. The Schuylkill River at Norristown and the Perkiomen Creek at Graterford crested at record levels overnight and early Thursday morning but water is receding. However, the Schuylkill River remains in major flood stage and is not expected to fall below flood stage until Friday morning.
Residents can opt-in to receive updates on storm recovery by texting MontcoIda to 888-777.
The Red Cross established a shelter at the Norristown Area High School, located at 1900 Eagle Drive, Norristown, PA 19403. This shelter also accepts pets. If possible, pet owners should bring food, a crate, a sheet or blanket, and a bowl. These items will be supplied if a pet owner is unable to provide them.
Physical donations are currently not being accepted by Montgomery County or our Red Cross shelter partners. Please do not drop off donations of any kind at the shelter at Norristown Area High School or other shelters that may become operational in the coming days. When we have further information on how people can support the individuals in Montgomery County impacted by Hurricane Ida, it will be shared.
Anyone who has experienced property damage must report the damage to both the County and your township or borough. Residents can report damage to the County by visiting www.montcopa.org/ida to get a link to the County’s form. Township and borough contact information is also available on this webpage. Only one submission per household is needed.
The Hurricane Ida Crisis Cleanup Hotline has been established for residents who have sustained damage and need help with cutting fallen trees, removing affected drywall, flooring, and appliances, tarping roofs, and mold remediation. Call the Hotline at (844) 965-1386.
14 Montgomery County bridges and the roads they carry are closed as a direct result of Hurricane Ida. Residents should not drive or walk past closure signs as flooded roads are unsafe. Doing so puts both yourself and those who may have to come to rescue you at risk.
Due to storm damage, County Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites situated along waterways are closed through Monday, September 6 and may be closed longer depending on damage. This includes Lock 60; Upper Valley Schuylkill Park (The lower parking lot, boat slip, fishing pier, and Schuylkill East Trail entrance are all closed but the upper lot is open); Lower Perkiomen Valley Park; and Central Perkiomen Valley Park.
The County’s Ardmore and Pottstown COVID-19 testing sites will resume operation today, Friday, September 3, 2021.
Storm updates will continue to be posted on the County website at www.montcopa.org/Ida. Residents are encouraged to check this page for updates as the recovery operations continue.
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