DARBY, Pa. – Torrential rain and flash floods caused airport delays, transit stoppages, apartment evacuations and a few vehicle rescues in the Philadelphia region.
No serious injuries were reported in the wake of the heavy rains that moved through southeast Pennsylvania on Sunday. The storms caused the closure of the Broad Street subway in Philadelphia, as well as the Southeastern Regional Transportation Authority's (search) regional railways. Most trains resumed running by noon.
Area roads including parts of the Schuylkill Expressway (search) in Philadelphia were blocked, reopening Sunday afternoon.
In Upper Darby, flooding filled the basements and parts of the first floors of four apartment buildings, officials said. A supermarket and other businesses in the area were flooded, and cars were flipped on their sides or overturned by the floodwaters.
Nearby Darby borough declared a state of emergency and the American Red Cross (search) was helping about 80 families totaling 250 people who were displaced, Mayor Paula Brown said.
"Some just got it in their basement, but we have a lot of people who lost everything," Brown said. She said more than 10 feet of water filled the basement and part of the first floor of some residences.
About 100 people were spending the night in Upper Darby High School and about 20 at an elementary school in Darby Borough while about 30 were in a North Philadelphia middle school, Red Cross spokeswoman Omoiye Kinney said Sunday night.
"We're just trying to make people as comfortable as possible in an unpleasant situation," Kinney said. Many more came to shelters to pick up cleaning supplies or dry clothes but did not stay the night, she said.
Some of the worst flooding in Upper Darby struck Veronica Road, where residents said the flooding happened so quickly they had trouble believing their eyes.
"All of the sudden a manhole cover shoots up out of the ground in front of my home and water was just shooting out," said Keith Dutton, a building maintenance worker who lives on the street. Almost immediately, the streets were flooded with three feet of water, he said.
"From that point on there was a good half a foot every 15 minutes," Dutton said. A nearby supermarket was completely filled with water, he said.
To make matters worse, water service was soon shut off, making it impossible to wash things or flush toilets.
One of Dutton's neighbors, Norma Hutchinson, said some of her family members were taken away by boat.
"The first thing I did was call the landlord and let him know what's going on," Hutchinson said. "He wanted to rescue us, but I said, 'No, you can't; you need a boat.'"
At Philadelphia International Airport (search), the rain caused delays of about an hour Sunday morning, airport spokesman Mark Pesce said.
In Lower Merion, rescuers used boats to help several drivers stranded when their cars were submerged, WCAU-TV reported.
By the time the rains reached the Garden State, much of their force had dissipated, and authorities reported no serious flooding or weather-related problems.
Flooding was reported along Manatawny Creek in Montgomery County, Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia, Valley Creek in Chester County and Crum Creek in Delaware County, officials said.
Birdsboro, Berks County received 4 inches of rain during the storm, Miller said.
Some parts of central Pennsylvania reported 3 to 4 inches of rain overnight, with minor flooding along creeks and riverbanks, according to the National Weather Service (search) in State College.
Hurricane Floyd (search) destroyed 337 homes and 53 businesses in Darby in September 1999.