The agency in charge of water for towns in Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania, issued an alert to residents and businesses Friday: "Drinking Water Warning: Boil your water before using."
The alert from the Lower Bucks County Joint Municpal Authority was sent out by the county's emergency management office, and can also be found on the authority's website. It was sparked by effects from the continued flooding along creeks and rivers, including the Delaware River, which has long been forecast to be the last river to flood.
The authority also acknowledged the low water pressure currently being experienced by customers using the water supply. The hope is to restore water pressure by 6:30 p.m. Friday.
"DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST," the authority said in the alert. "Bring all water to a rolling boil, let it boil for 1 minute and let it cool before using; or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice."
At least one person died in Milford Township, Bucks County. Officials said 65-year-old Donald Allen Bauer had driven his car in a flooded creek Wednesday, but conditions were so severe at the time that they could not retrieve the vehicle. When they returned to continue the search Thursday morning, they found Bauer’s lifeless body.
Though Ida did not make a direct hit on the region, its impacts were still being felt Friday as roads remained closed and efforts to clean up toppled homes, trees and power lines continued.
In Philadelphia, Interstate 676, a major artery for the region, remained closed days after heavy rain submerged lanes, essentially turning the highway into a river as floodwaters rose and almost reached an overpass. Asked about social media videos showing people jumping into the highway's floodwaters, Mayor Jim Kenney implored people to, "Just don't do stupid crap."
Workers on Friday were attempting to drain the interstate by pumping the excess water from the Vine Street Canal back into the Schuylkill River, which was finally receding after swelling to near-record levels and spilling over into surrounding areas.
The river’s rising tide did break a record in neighboring Norristown, rising above 25 feet and in so doing surpassing the record set in 1869.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood, known for the shops and restaurants along its lively but flood-prone Main Street, was a muddy mess. Metal fences, fallen traffic poles and pieces of concrete lined Main Street, where less than 48 hours earlier, floodwaters had risen feet above ground and left some low-lying restaurants almost completely submerged.
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel added that the recovery process in the city will likely take months. Remarkably, Mayor Kenney noted, no deaths were immediately reported in the city despite the widespread destruction.
“Philadelphia has not experienced such extreme flooding in any of our lifetimes," Kenney said in a press conference held after he toured damaged parts of the city. "The images we saw yesterday of our flooded neighborhoods and highways and the damage and debris and the after math that we saw today were hard to really believe, and I know that many Philadelphians are hurting right now.”
In Ambler, Montgomery County, some people walked through what remained of their homes, tattered and torn by one of seven confirmed tornadoes in the region.
One man stood among debris, illuminated by the sun shining down from above, his house’s roof shorn off.