WASHINGTON CROSSING, Pa. (AP) — A sudden flash flood inundated a road in southeastern Pennsylvania, wiping out several cars and claiming at least three lives. Four other people, including a 9-month-old baby, remain missing, authorities said.
Officials in Bucks County’s Makefield Township said heavy rainfall occurred in the Washington Crossing area about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tim Brewer, the Upper Makefield fire chief, told reporters that the area received about 6 1/2 to 7 inches of rain (about 18 centimeters) in 45 minutes.
“In my 44 years I have never seen anything like it,” he said. “When the water came up, it came up really fast. We don’t think anyone was driving it, that they were active on that road when it happened.”
There was “about four to five feet of water across the road,” he said. There were about 11 cars on the road at the time and three were swept away.
Two women and a man, ranging in age from 40 to 60, were found dead. Four people were missing, three women and a man. They ranged in age from nine months to 63.
Brewer declined to identify the victims’ relationships, but said “one family has been seriously affected”.
Eight people were rescued from the cars and two from the creek, he said.
All three wiped-out vehicles were later located and no one was found inside. One was about a mile from where it entered the creek.
“We’re treating this as a rescue, but we’re pretty sure we’re in a recovery mode right now,” Brewer said.
About 150 people searched the creek at night and 100 were involved in walking along the creek Sunday morning, he said.