At least 3 people have died and several are missing following flash floods in Bucks County in Pennsylvania, USA.
Flooding occurred late 15 July 2023. Officials said 3 of victims were found dead in the Washington Crossing area in Upper Makefield Township, near the Delaware River and several small waterways including Houghs Creek. Several vehicles were swept away by flash flooding in the area. Police found the bodies of 3 of the victims and managed to rescue one other. Search and Rescue teams were also searching for several people said to be missing in the floods.
Upper Makefield Township Police Department said in a statement of early 16 July:
“…our area was hit with a torrential rainstorm for which caused flash flooding along several areas throughout the township. The worst of which occurred along Route 532 in the area of Stonebridge Crossing Road between Aqueduct Road and Wrightstown Road. The flash flooding caught numerous motorists by surprise and many were trapped. It is with great sorrow that we regretfully announce that three people who were swept away by the flood waters were found deceased. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends as they go through unimaginable grief. Police and fire were able to rescue one woman who was trapped in her vehicle.
“Today, the search efforts will continue as we have 3-4 people who are still unaccounted for. We ask that you avoid this area.”
Upper Makefield police reported flooding in numerous places in the township. ” If you are driving in and around the township, please be careful as there is a lot of debris on the roadways,” the police said. Several roads were also impassable in neighbouring Lower Makefield Township. Four state highways in Bucks County were closed due to the flooding, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transport (PennDOT).
Local observers reported a short period of torrential rain, lasting just minutes, prior to the flooding. Heavy rain was also reported in other areas of the region, including White Township in Warren County, New Jersey, which recorded 7.24 inches (183.90 mm) on 15 July. Across the Delaware River and state border, Mount Bethel in Northampton County, Pennsylvania recorded 3.86 inches (98 mm).
Further heavy was forecast for 16 July for parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The National Weather Service at Philadelphia / Mount Holly said, “heavy rain potentially leading to significant flash flooding will spread into the area tonight and Sunday. If you live near a river, stream, or low-lying area, have a reliable way to receive flood warnings. DO NOT drive or walk through flood waters!”
The flooding in Bucks County follows several days of severe weather in the state of Pennsylvania. On 09 July, a slow-moving storm caused flooding in Quakertown and Reading, prompting high water rescues and evacuations. High water rescues were carried out in Quakertown and dozens of people evacuated their homes in Reading on 09 July 2023. New York state and later Vermont, saw the brunt of the flooding. One person died in Highland Falls in New York and another in Barre in Vermont.
A thunderstorm with strong winds of 75 mph (120 km/h) caused damage in East Rockhill and Plumstead in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on 10 July 2023.
The next round of rain is just starting to enter Northeast Maryland and Berks County PA. This animation shows a radar mosaic from midnight through 12:30 AM. This will gradually move east into the day time. For the latest info, visit
— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) July 16, 2023

#BREAKING 4 dead and 4 missing after severe flooding in Washington Crossing area in Upper Makefield Township. Of those missing, 2 parents, a 2-year-old and 9-month old. This is video from Nick Primola showing some of the aftermath along Taylorsville & Wrightstown Roads @6abc
— Sharifa Jackson 6abc (@SharifaJackson) July 16, 2023

Richard Davies is the founder of and reports on flooding news, flood insurance, protection and defence issues.

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