Bucks County officials 'assess and say prayers,' seeking relief from flood disaster

BENSALEM, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Wednesday morning saw more damage assessment and cleanup taking place in lower Bucks County, as officials look for help, and state and federal disaster relief. County officials say the focus is on Bensalem, Bristol Township and Bristol Borough.

The Red Cross, which has opened a community resource center for a second consecutive day, said people who whose homes were damaged during Monday’s flash flooding can seek assistance at the Cornwells Fire Company in Bensalem. It is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The relief organization has helped around 100 people so far.

Many of the people affected live at the Lafayette Gardens condominium complex at Red Lion Road and Bristol Pike. Officials say all 66 units were severely damaged when water overflowing from nearby Poquessing Creek flooded the complex.

"Never seen that much rain at one time, ever. Except in '85 — and that was only five inches when this got flooded," said Bensalem Mayor Joe DiGiralamo. "So, we’ll just assess and say prayers for the people that need it right now."

Several state lawmakers got a firsthand look at the condos on Tuesday. They sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf asking for help, because "minutes of rain have resulted in millions of dollars of property damage and devastating losses from this storm."

The letter, signed by Sen. Tommy Tomlinson and Reps. Kathleen Tomlinson, Tina Davis and John Galloway, read, in part, "We respectively ask that you allow all State resources, including declaring an emergency disaster, be made available to Bucks County to help our constituents deal with the aftermath of this storm."

There is also a push for federal disaster relief. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who joined the local lawmakers on a tour of the damage, said he would do what he could to make that happen.

Bensalem police say anyone whose car was towed because of the flooding can call the department at 215-633-3719. Residents can report storm property damage to Keri Schiavo with the Bensalem Police Department at 215-633-3741.