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Hurricane Ida spawns path of destruction

Tornadoes, flooding blanket local area


The remains of Hurricane Ida showed no mercy, as the tornadoes and historic flooding Ida spawned left a devastating path of destruction in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
The National Weather Service said seven confirmed tornadoes struck the region on Sept. 1, with three in Bucks County, one in Montgomery County and another in Chester County.
First responders took to boats to rescue people across Bucks County who were stranded in cars and homes inundated with flood waters. Approximately 5,200 calls for help came into the county’s emergency response center, said Bucks County Commissioner Chairwoman Diane Ellis-Marseglia. During a typical day, 1,500 calls are received, she said.
A 65-year-old man in Milford Township drowned inside his vehicle; state troopers and fire department personnel attempted to retrieve the vehicle, however, the conditions were too severe and they were forced to postpone their search efforts, authorities said. A passenger in the vehicle was able to escape and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. The man was identified by police as Donald Allen Bauer of Perkiomenville.
Audrey Kenny, Bucks County’s interim director of emergency management, said the high number of water rescues was “taxing for our systems” and responders from Bethlehem, were called on to help in Durham Township.
“There were a lot of tense moments in the call center and for emergency responders,” said Kenny, during a press conference last week.
To date, 50 people have died in the Northeast, following the extreme weather, according to news reports. Four were in Pennsylvania; 27 in New Jersey and 17 in New York.
Tornadoes were confirmed in the following locations, according to the National Weather Service:
• Upper Dublin and Horsham, Montgomery County: EF2 tornado, with peak winds reaching 130 miles per hour.

• Buckingham and Doylestown townships, Bucks County: EF1 tornado gusting up to 100 miles per hour. The tornado struck near the Neshaminy Creek along Edison Furlong Road in Doylestown Township just before 6 p.m. Sept. 1. The tornado left a “consistent path of damage” for 4.4 miles before ending in Buckingham Township.
• Upper Makefield, Bucks County: EF1 tornado, with winds up to 90 miles per hour.
• Bristol, Bucks County (originating from Edgewater Park, N.J.): EF1 tornado, with 90 mile per hour winds.
• Oxford, Chester County: EF1 tornado, with peak winds reaching 95 miles per hour.
There were also tornadoes confined to neighboring New Jersey:
• Mullica Hill: EF3 tornado, with winds up to 150 miles per hour.
• Princeton, Mercer County: EF0 tornado, with winds up to 75 miles per hour.
There have now been 26 twisters confirmed in Pennsylvania in 2021. That already far exceeds the average number in the state for a full year, which is 16, according to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The state’s all-time record for tornadoes in a year is 37, in 2019.
All told, Pennsylvania has seen more severe weather events in 2021 than any other state in the country besides Texas, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said. The state has seen 941 events of severe hail, wind, or tornadoes, trailing only the 1,326 in Texas.