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Deadly Flash Flooding in Upper Makefield Township: 5 Dead, 2 Missing, and Ongoing Rescue Efforts

Flash flooding caused by torrential rain in Upper Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, has resulted in the deaths of five people, with two individuals still missing.[0] The heavy rainfall on Saturday evening took residents and drivers by surprise, leading to destructive flash flooding. The area experienced between six and seven inches of rainfall in less than an hour, causing roadways to become flooded.[1] As a result, a family attempted to escape the floodwaters, with the father and his 4-year-old son managing to reach safety.[0] However, the mother, grandmother, and two other children were swept away by the floodwaters.[2]

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings and tornado watches for parts of Connecticut, western Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. In New York City, a flood watch remained in effect until midnight.[3] The flash flood warning in Connecticut, including areas such as Danbury, Shelton, and Waterbury, was active until at least 11 a.m.[4] E.T.[1] The Storm Prediction Center also warned of the potential for brief tornadoes in parts of Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

Rescue efforts have been ongoing, with eight people saved from their vehicles on the flooded roadway and two others rescued from Houghs Creek.[5] However, two children, a 2-year-old girl and her 9-month-old brother, are still missing.[6] The Bucks County community has come together to support those affected by the tragedy, with Pennsylvania officials offering their prayers and assistance.

Numerous road closures have been implemented, including Taylorsville Road from Route 532 to Route 295, River Road by Francisco's restaurant, and River Road between Route 532 and Mount Eyre Road.[7] The flooding also caused damage to roads in Lower Makefield Township.[8] The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported that four state highways in Bucks County were closed due to the flooding.[3]

The Bucks County Coroner confirmed that three adults were found dead outside their cars in the floodwaters, and a fourth and fifth body were discovered in a nearby creek.[8] One woman was rescued from her trapped vehicle by first responders.[9] The victims' identities have not been publicly released.[0] The suddenness of the floodwaters surprised many, as the water rose swiftly and unexpectedly.

The search for the missing children continues, and authorities are urging residents to remain vigilant and prepared as flash flood warnings remain in effect. The severe weather has also impacted air travel, with over 1,500 flights within or to/from the US canceled and more than 8,000 delayed.[4] Vermont's Governor, Phil Scott, has been closely monitoring the situation as more rain falls in the state and has advised residents to stay alert and prepared.[10]

The devastating flash flooding in Pennsylvania serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of weather and the importance of emergency preparedness. It highlights the need for communities to come together to support those affected and for officials to continue monitoring and responding to weather conditions to ensure the safety of residents.

0. “5 dead amid flooding in Pennsylvania, with 2 children reported missing, officials say” ABC News, 16 Jul. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/US/3-dead-amid-flooding-pennsylvania-reported-missing-police/story?id=101320008

1. “5 dead, baby and sister still missing after Pennsylvania flash flooding” CBS News, 17 Jul. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bucks-county-pennsylvania-flash-flooding-deaths-missing

2. “Flash flooding in Pa. kills 4, with 3, including baby and toddler, missing” The Washington Post, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2023/07/16/flash-flooding-bucks-county-pa/

3. “Three people – including nine-month-old baby – are missing in Pennsylvania flash floods” Daily Mail, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12303991/Multiple-homes-evacuated-New-Jersey-lightning-strikes-underground-gas-lines.html

4. “Dangerous storms slam the Northeast, leaving New York City under flood warning and killing 4 in Pennsylvania” Yahoo News, 16 Jul. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/pennsylvania-flash-flooding-kills-3-140011332.html

5. “Bucks County flash flood: What we know” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.inquirer.com/news/bucks-county-flooding-washington-crossing-deaths-news-20230716.html

6. “Major storms sweeping the Northeast leave at least 5 people dead” NPR, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/07/16/1188012153/flash-floods-pennsylvania-storms-vermont-northeast

7. “Water rescues continue in Bucks County as officials confirm fatalities” phillyBurbs.com, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.phillyburbs.com/story/news/local/2023/07/15/water-rescues-delaware-river-bucks-county-pennsylvania/70417385007/

8. “Fatal Bucks Co. Flooding: Death Toll Rises To 5 (UPDATES)” Patch, 16 Jul. 2023, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/newtown-pa/fatal-bucks-co-flooding-family-4-missing-updates

9. “A fourth body has been recovered in deadly Upper Makefield flooding” The Bucks County Herald, 16 Jul. 2023, https://buckscountyherald.com/stories/three-dead-four-missing-in-delaware-river-flash-flooding-bucks-county-upper-makefield,26112

10. “Pennsylvania flash flood kills four; baby and others missing” New York Daily News, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-pa-flash-flood-kills-four-others-missing-20230716-mohgejvhyjhgnpdmtef7rz5hxa-story.html