The Downingtown Fire Dept. was dispatched to 98 separate incidents and responded to approximately 160 calls for assistance during the remnants of Hurricane Ida, that hit central Chester County hard over a day and a half.
The rain started falling over our area at 2:00 PM and around 4:15 PM the extreme heavy started and continued for several hours. The first call was dispatched just after 4:45 PM for a water rescue at Green St. and Jefferson Ave. The next call occurred at 5:00 PM on N. Lloyd Ave. near the Beaver Creek Bridge for another vehicle stuck in high, swift water from the Beaver Creek.
The volunteers of the Downingtown Fire Dept. Water Rescue Team split into two crews before the historic storm started, with the Alert Fire Co. No. 1 handling incidents in the West Ward and the Minquas Fire Co. No. 2 handling the incidents in East Ward of the Borough and East Caln Twp.
The DFD Water Rescue Team responded nonstop throughout the evening and overnight, to dispatched and non-dispatched rescue calls from people and families that were stranded inside and on top of cars and trucks, people in trees after their cars were swept off of the roadway, in addition to people that wanted to be rescued from their homes and businesses.
During this historic 10″ of rain and the Beaver Creek, Parke Run and Brandywine Creek eventually flooding at 19.1′ in Downingtown, Tower 45 was dispatched to assist the Coatesville Bureau of Fire with water rescues on Olive St. And, Engine 45 with Ladder 49 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) responded to Anthony’s Restaurant on W. Lancaster Ave. for a building fire. The fire was related to flooding inside of the basement of the building. While at Anthony’s, the fire crews conducted a water rescue of people in the rear parking lot, from the tip of the aerial of Ladder 49.
In addition to the water rescues and building fire, the DFD volunteers responded to several gas leaks, electrical incidents, odor investigations and other storm related calls with Engine 45 in the west and Engine 46-2 in the east. These calls continued until approximately 10:00 AM on Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021.
During the storm, the DFD received mutual aid from the following agencies:
- Chester County Rescue Task Force (Boat 47-1 of the Lionville Fire Co.) in the West Ward.
- Harford County, MD Water Rescue Task Force in the West Ward.
- Haverford Twp. Police High Water Vehicle in the East Ward.
- Delaware County Water Rescue Task Force in the East Ward.
- Camden County, NJ Water Rescue Task Force in the East Ward.
- PA National Guard
Some of the photos are courtesy of the Downingtown Community Facebook Page.