Delaware Co. remembers Floyd, prepares for Irene
DARBY, Pa. - August 25, 2011 (WPVI) -- Irene promises to be the worst storm in the area since Hurricane Floyd, and people in Delaware County are still smarting from that event 12 years later.
Delaware County learned a bitter lesson from Hurricane Floyd.
12 years ago, the borough of Darby was mostly under water. Darby Creek overflowed its banks, damaging 400 homes and businesses.
Over 40 homes along Chestnut Street were bought and leveled by the government.
"The water came right through their living rooms, came right up the street. It was a disaster. I've never seen anything like it," said Regina Trout.
Regina Trout's home is on high ground across the street, but the floodwaters of Floyd reached all the way to the last step before her front door.
Her basement was under water, but she considers herself lucky.
"I saw them taking people out of here in cherry pickers," said Trout. "It was terrible."
A pleasant little park sits along Darby Creek in Springfield. There used to be half a dozen homes there. They were all wiped out by Hurricane Floyd.
"There were cars that were rolling down the street," said Carla DeStefano.
The water rose so high only rooftops were visible. Since then, homes in harm's way have been bought out and demolished.
Delaware County has also made improvements to bridges, even replacing some to eliminate chokepoints that collect debris.
The water flows more freely now, but the county is still preparing.
The Emergency Operations Center will be fully staffed this weekend, with the aim of saving lives, not property.
"Hurricane Floyd was a devastating property problem, but there was only one fatality and that was a pizza driver who drove into the creek," said Ed Truitt of Delaware County Emergency Management.
Irene may be no Floyd, but no one in Delaware County is taking any chances.
darby, hurricanes and tropical storms, pennsylvania, local/state, david henry
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