River Flooding Q and A

Flooding Questions

Q. Who orders an evacuation & what are the criteria for an evacuation?
A. Local, county and federal officials who make the determination if the river conditions are such that an evacuation is warranted and then notify the fire company to assist with the process.
Q. How much lead time do we have for an evacuation?
A. It depends. River rise rates in excess of 1 foot per hour have been observed in the last three major floods, however, the rise rate once there is water on the roads is slower. However, by the time water is on the roads, it’s already too late to evacuate. While there are no hard and fast numbers, the decision to evacuate is made at a point where it looks like within a day or less the roads will become impassible to vehicular traffic of all kinds (that includes fire trucks and ambulances!), so the decision to evacuate is made. The river data web sites have been very helpful in the decision-making process.

Q. What areas flood first?
A. In general, when the river is at “bankfull” (19 feet) in Riegelsville, we’ll have some water on the road on Rt. 32 and Berm Lane, as well as some water almost to the road at Bridgeton Hill road and River road. The upriver end of trails end will also see water in yards and over the road when the river is at bankfull in Reiglesville.

Q. I need a basement pumped out – can you help?
A. No. The Upper Black Eddy Fire Company might be able to help you. Give them a call at the station (610) 982-5710 (don’t email, call). If they can pump out homes, they get there as fast as they can, but have limited capability, so please be patient. If your fuel oil tank broke and leaked oil, they can’t pump you out, you’ll have to hire a special contractor to remove the oil and contaminated water. Unfortunately, we can’t provide referrals. Call your insurance company.
Q. Why Was My Electric Meter Pulled Out, and What Can I Do to get my electric back on?
A. In most cases, we have nothing to do with electric meters being pulled after flooding. The electric utility makes the decision to pull electric meters as a result of flooding. The basic rule is if your breaker panel was under water, your meter will be pulled, and won’t be replaced until an inspection is completed by a qualified electrician.

Q. I need FEMA or PEMA forms!
A. We’ll post links to the most current forms here after an incident. If you need printouts of the forms, you can pick them up at the Bridgeton Township Building.

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