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Yardley area is spared significant flooding


Most residents living near the Delaware River and Canal in Yardley Borough and Lower Makefield Township seem to have escaped major damage from the latest flooding caused by several inches of rain dumped the night of Sept. 1 from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
While water from the Delaware River rose well above flood stage, covering parts of nearby roadways and surrounding houses last Thursday and into early Friday, there were few if any reports of its entering main living areas, officials from both municipalities said.
“We dodged a bullet with this one,” Yardley Borough Council President David Bria said. “I don’t think the water reached Yardley Inn, and I don’t think there are any reports of first-floor damage, though we’re still doing assessments. Some people might have lost cars and outdoor power equipment because of the speed with which the water rose.”
Lower Makefield Township Manager Kurt Ferguson had a similar summary.
“Lower Makefield Township did not suffer significant damage from the storm from Hurricane Ida,” he said. “The township is not aware of any property damage and other than some modest damage to roads, we emerged from the storm thankfully unscathed.
“The township did have to proactively close several roads during the storm, but all were reopened by the end of the day on Thursday (Sept. 2).”
Bria said the river crested about 18 inches below the original projection of 22.7 feet, which he said probably reduced the amount of damage. He said the Delaware usually starts covering River Road and other nearby roads when it reaches about 18 or 19 feet.
“We had maybe a quarter-inch of water in our ground floor, which we use mainly for storage,” said Susan Perras, who lives with her family on River Road in Yardley Borough.
“Our main living area is several feet above that and that was untouched. We bought the house in 2009 and it had already been elevated. We never would have bought it if not.”

Many if not most people who live near the Delaware River, Neshaminy Creek and other fairly large streams in Bucks County have had their houses elevated over the last several years to minimize damage during floods. Yardley Borough officials and homeowners are working together to elevate 10 more houses using a $2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Perras said the worst flooding she and her family have experienced since buying the house was in 2011, when two storms close together brought about two feet of water into the first floor, causing the family to go through the laborious process of cleaning out mud, washing off possessions and disinfecting with bleach. The clean-p process wasn’t nearly as arduous this time, she said.
Still, it will always be somewhat unnerving to see water from the Delaware River covering your driveway, lawn and nearby streets, Perras said.
“We saw a carp swimming around in the water on the street,” she said. “And some neighbors were fishing off their porch and caught a couple. But, we knew we signed up for this when we bought a house in this area.”
Chuck, a neighbor of the Perras who didn’t want this last name used, was busy on Saturday cleaning up – with the help of friends and neighbors – his garage and its contents after the structure took about two feet of water.
He estimated he has gone through half of the worst 30 floods in borough history since buying the house 26 years ago. Still, he has no plans to move.
“You know what they used to say in the old Ivory detergent commercials, that it was 99.44% pure, or something like that,” Chuck said. “Well, that’s about how I feel about living where I live, that’s it’s 99.44% good.
“God gives and sometimes God takes away, but I can take a little grief once in a while when it comes with all that good.”