Multi-Hour-Drive: Rain Leaves Traffic Mess on Area Roads

Heavy rain is causing major traffic slowdowns on roads around the area, including I-76 heading into Philadelphia.

Give yourself extra time to get where you need to go Monday as heavy rain, thunderstorms and flooding left a mess on area roads. The wet conditions caused massive delays on major highways, including the Schuylkill Expressway, and threatened localized flooding along creeks and streams.

Drivers had to pack patience as roads remained wet even as clouds cleared midday.

Without a crash, the conditions slowed the drive into Philly along I-76 to a near crawl by 8:30 a.m. It took more than 200 minutes to get from the Blue Route (I-476) to the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) as the roadway flooded near Girard Avenue. Late in the morning, the delay remained at nearly two hours as speeds remained in the single digits, NBC10 First Alert Traffic reporter Jessica Boyington said.

Flooding also closed one of the alternate routes to I-76 as Martin Luther King Drive was blocked between Montgomery Drive to the Falls Bridge.

Flooding also caused trouble on the on-ramp to I-95 from Front and Market streets in Old City. A big rig overturned on I-95 southbound at the I-495 split around 11:15 a.m., forcing all traffic onto I-495, Delaware State Police said. And, water swallowed cars along Route 38 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Earlier, some crashes caused problems including a jackknifed tractor-trailer from the westbound Vine Street Expressway (Interstate 676) to the Schuylkill Expressway (Interstate 76) around 6 a.m. 

Don't drive through flooded streets as the water could be much deeper than it appears.

Crews rescued drivers stuck in floodwaters along Cobbs Creek in West Philly, according to the National Weather Service.

The NBC10 First Alert Weather Team had issued a First Alert for the entire region for the threat heavy downpours that caused flooding and of potentially damaging winds that expired before noon.

Some neighborhoods received more than 2 inches and could see 3 inches or more when the rain finally completely moves out. As a result the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for parts of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania as well as New Castle County Delaware and Gloucester and Salem counties in New Jersey that expired late morning.

A Flood Warning is in effect in parts of Bucks, Montgomery and Mercer counties as well as Northeast Philadelphia into the early evening. Normal trouble areas, including the Neshaminy Creek in Bucks County, could see flooding.

Forecasters also warned of potential moderate coastal flooding in Delaware and at the Jersey Shore.

Damaging winds with gusts of 40 to 50 mph also threatened to bring down tree limbs and cause power problems. As of 9:30 a.m. about 4,200 PECO customers were without power, with more than half in Chester County. By 11 a.m. the amount of outages was down to about 1,200. 

A heavy band of rain with some strikes of lightning moved through during the morning commute. As of 10 a.m., the worst of the downpours was moving away from Philadelphia. 

Damp conditions could linger into the afternoon with scattered showers and the potential for more downpours. Highs will push into the 60s later in the day before cooling off again heading into a cloudy Tuesday.

Keep checking back with the NBC10 app and NC10.com for the latest First Alert Weather and Traffic.

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