The Philadelphia Water Department has released an executive summary (link) of their multi-year study of stormwater flooding in Germantown – E Mt Airy. Their findings provide a wake-up call on flash flooding risks in this highly developed part of Northwest Philadelphia.
The combined sewers that the City built in the late 1800s and early 1900s to enclose the Historic Wingohocking Creek are simply too small for today’s stormwater runoff, causing sewer backups in nearly 2,800 homes and local flooding in the 24 intersections highlighted in this map.
PWD estimates flood annual flood damages of $7.1 millions to buildings and $1.6 million to vehicles.
PWD conducted detailed investigations into 2 storm relief options: 1) stormwater storage, and 2) tunnel relief. Both options are shown in the Executive Summary, however they are difficult to read. The map below reproduces the Water Department’s Storage Option.
Do you live in a flash flood prone area in Germantown – E Mt airy? If you do, your 1st priority should be to obtain flood insurance. Your 2nd step should be to ask your local elected officials, PWD, and your local community groups what steps they are taking to inform the public about our flash flooding problems and steps to reduce the risk.