Wolf visits Philly-area town hit hard by floods, pledges better long-term planning

"These folks had their lives upended by something that was completely beyond their control."

Tim Jimenez
August 16, 2018 - 12:58 pm

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Parts of Delaware County are still cleaning up from this week’s flooding. And on Thursday, Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf stopped by a couple of hard-hit towns to get a good look at the damage. 

Wolf’s first stop was at an auto shop still closed because of flood damage, at Marshal Road and Long Lane in Upper Darby.

"These folks had their lives upended by something that was completely beyond their control," Wolf said.

Wolf heard stories of heroism, whether it was the civilian and municipal workers who rescued a cop from the floods, or the people who joined the cops and formed a chain to rescue a grandmother. 

The governor had high praise for citizens and first responders for stepping up to help each other.

“Everybody pulled together to make this as best a situation as they could make it,” Wolf said.

Darby Borough officials told him about flooded streets this week that caused a three-minute drive to stretch into a half-hour trip. It was dangerous, because in those conditions, emergency crews can get stuck.

And he met residents who live in homes that flood way too offen, like Rose Gilbert, who can’t catch a break.

"We try to make different adjustments to try to prepare for it, but you can never prepare for it because it kind of gets worse everytime,” Gilbert said. “We had to worry about health issues because the water had gasoline in it and some other chemicals.”

In Darby Borough, near the frequently flooding Darby Creek, Wolf pledged not only short term help, but better long-term planning so communities can better prepare for what Mother Nature brings.

"Think a little more in a preventive way," Wolf said. "How can we keep these things from happening?"