Clogged Storm Drains Create Armand Hammer Flooding
POTTSTOWN PA – Traffic was blocked and detoured Monday at about 4 p.m. (at top) on Armand Hammer Boulevard, between East High Street and Sunset Drive, as water from a torrential rain storm partially flooded the roadway and rendered it impassable for about a half-hour. The culprits were curbside storm grates, clogged with leaves and debris downed by high winds, that failed to properly drain the runoff.
Pottstown public works crews responded quickly, as did borough police units and fire police from Sanatoga. Armed with rakes and shovels (above), workers poked, prodded, and pulled sodden messes from the storm grates and piled them atop curbs and at less soggy road shoulders. A cheer went up from one borough employee as a last rakeful of debris was cleared, and water began disappearing in a vortex (below).
No injuries or mishaps were reported. One vehicle was seen stopped in the southbound lane of Armand Hammer, with a couple standing outside it and a police officer who appeared to be dealing with a mechanical problem.
The road blockage was exacerbated by the start of end-of-workday traffic just beginning to increase from U.S. Route 422 at its Armand Hammer Boulevard interchange.
Other flooding in the borough was reported at about 3:45 p.m. at the intersection of West Buttonwood and Myrtle streets. Water there was said to quickly reach up over the tires of passing cars.
In Lower Pottsgrove there was substantial flooding behind the township municipal building on Buchert Road. Sanatoga Creek overflowed its banks along North and South Sanatoga roads, and poured into a portion of the low-lying Sanatoga Swim Club parking lot at the East High Street bridge crossing the creek. Fast moving, white-crested water crashed again the bridge’s foundation and then rushed through its twin portals.
High winds, gusting in some Montgomery County locations at up to 60 miles an hour, raised havoc elsewhere too. There were no confirmed tornadoes, but a tornado watch was issued in Chester County for Monday through 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday’s weather may still be wet but less violent, according to AccuWeather. Skies are predicted to be partly sunny and a chance of rain, with windy conditions and chilly temperatures that should remain in the 40s throughout the day.
Photos by The Post