"This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation," the National Weather Service said in a statement. "Please follow the direction of emergency responders in your area. Under absolutely no circumstances should you drive around barricades. Evacuate if told to do so."
Multiple rivers and creeks spilled their banks, including the Schuylkill River and French, Pickering, Perkiomen, Wissahickon, Pennypack and Brandywine creeks.
Heavy thunderstorms were expected to bring an additional 2 inches of rain or more overnight into Thursday. A flood watch will remain in effect for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties until noon Thursday, and a flood warning until 4 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service said.
PECO reported scattered power outages throughout the day on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service issued the following precautions:
- Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. When encountering flooded roads, make the smart choice. Turn around, don’t drown.
- Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause elevated levels on small creeks and streams, as well as ponding of water in urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other poor drainage and low-lying spots.
- Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely. Move to higher ground.
- Driving into flood waters could put your life at risk and cost you thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs. Flood waters may be deeper than you think. Turn around and find an alternative route.
- Do not underestimate the power of flood waters. Only a few inches of rapidly flowing water can quickly carry away your vehicle.
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