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The original item was published from 7/17/2023 3:41:08 PM to 7/17/2023 3:43:15 PM.

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Posted on: July 17, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Commissioners Declare Emergency Disaster in Response to Severe Flooding over the Weekend

Commissioners, Gov. and other officials survey flood damage

Today, Bucks County Commissioners Bob Harvie, Diane Ellis-Marseglia and Gene DiGirolamo have unanimously signed a Declaration of Disaster Emergency in response to the severe flooding over the weekend. The declaration will be officially ratified retroactively this Wednesday, July19 at the Board of Commissioners meeting. 

A severe flash flood occurring Saturday evening in Upper Makefield Township, along Houghs Creek, trapped 11 vehicles. Multiple life-saving rescues were made by crews from Upper Makefield Township and neighboring fire departments as the incident unfolded, but tragically five people have died and two children, siblings aged nine months and two years old, are still missing. An ongoing search and recovery effort is underway. 

The County has activated its Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and Major Incident Response Team (MIRT). Upper Makefield Township authorities continue to act as the lead agency coordinating the response. Hundreds of emergency personnel have contributed to the efforts. 

On Sunday, Pennsylvania Task Force One was deployed and Gov. Josh Shapiro, Sen. Bob Casey, State Sen. Steve Santarsiero, and Rep. Perry Warren were on the scene to survey the damage. Sen. John Fetterman also visited Upper Makefield yesterday. They, along with other state and federal officials, have all pledged their support. Commissioner Harvie, Governor Shapiro and other officials walk along storm damaged road

Bucks County Commissioners Harvie, Marseglia, and DiGirolamo issue the following joint statement: 

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy and express our deepest gratitude to the first responders whose heroic actions on Saturday prevented far greater loss of life. We continue to pray for the two missing children. 

We would like to thank the numerous police, fire, and EMS personnel who responded swiftly and continue to work on the recovery efforts, especially Upper Makefield Township Fire Chief Tim Brewer, who has led coordination efforts. Along with assistance from fire departments from all over Bucks County, water rescue teams from Montgomery County, and PEMA we are truly grateful to have partners that immediately jumped into action. 

As always, we are extremely proud of our County’s 911 staff and Emergency Management personnel, led by Director Audrey Kenny, who quickly activated the EOC and continue to provide support and resources.  

With today’s Declaration of Disaster Emergency, we will ensure that the County will continue to provide any and all resources necessary to continue responding to this unprecedented weather event that has affected so many lives in and out of Bucks County.” Officials gather where the road and drive way separate due to storm damage

Resource information from Bucks County Emergency Management for County residents affected by the flash flooding:  

If there is damage to your home, please directly contact your municipality to make a report: 

  • Lower Makefield Township residents: 267-274-1100   
  • Upper Makefield Township residents: 215-968-334 
  • Wrightstown Township residents: 215-598-3313 
  • All Bucks County municipalities 

Also, the American Red Cross has staff at the Yardley-Makefield Fire Company (105 South Main Street, Yardley, PA 19067). Red Cross staff is available Monday, July 17 until 7:00 PM. 

Governor Shapiro points something out as officials walk along storm damaged roadGovernor Shapiro talking to water rescue teams on the side of the Delaware CanalGovernor Josh Shapiro talking at a press conference about the flooding

Media Contact: Eric Nagy, 215-348-2806, ejnagy@buckscounty.org 

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