Bristol County Residents Say Flooding Is Getting Worse Near Delaware River: 'There's No Doubt About It'


BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – Cleanup crews were out in full force Thursday near Riverfront Park in Bristol Borough. Days of rain brought water from the Delaware River over its banks and into businesses and homes in the area.

The emergency services had stationed heavy machinery in a parking lot and tried to push the flood water away from the cars. On the other side of the property, the owner of Hops and Hardware Distillery also squeezed water with a hand mop.

“I don’t normally do that, but yeah. Today I have a blister. It’s OK,” Denise Mitchell said, adding that the flooding will not prevent the distillery from opening Thursday night.

Mitchell said they tried to prevent water from the Delaware from entering the building. This also includes an attempt two weeks ago to seal a former garage door.

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“We concreted over our garage, but the water still finds its way,” Mitchell said.

Resident Jennifer Moore walked her dog Sadie on Thursday, trying to avoid the floodwaters. She and her husband live in the area, and even though their home is on the fourth floor, her husband still had to go downstairs and move their car.

“We have a flood schedule in our building and they tell us when to move your car,” Moore said.

Locals said this area has always been prone to flooding because it sits right on the banks of the Delaware. But most people who spoke to CBS News Philadelphia said they feel the problem is getting worse.

“Last year the flooding was really bad,” Moore said.

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“Oh, there’s no doubt it’s getting worse,” said Merle Winslow, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

Winslow said this week's rain was certainly a major factor in the flooding, but he also points to reservoir releases in New York that are carrying additional water to them.

Winslow said crews are dredging a portion of the Delaware River north of Bristol, and he hopes they can move that portion downstream. But other than that they can't really do much.

“It would be virtually impossible to build a whole wall or anything like that because of the marshland we have here,” Winslow said.

Much of the water in the area receded by the afternoon, but Winslow said the county was likely not yet free of flooding. He said they were monitoring the tides and a high tide scheduled for the overnight hours would likely bring water over the banks and back into the parking lot.