Severe thunderstorms slammed the region causing heavy rain and flooding Monday. A Flash Flood Warning was in effect in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs until 11:15 p.m.A Flood Advisory was also in effect for Philadelphia, Montgomery and Burlington counties until 9 p.m.
Many areas in the Philly region dealt with heavy, slow moving rain and flooding. I-76 eastbound was closed at the Gladwyne exit in Montgomery County due to flooding. One eastbound lane is now currently getting by.
There was also flash flooding on MLK Drive in Philadelphia.
A SEPTA bus and car were also trapped in flood waters underneath a bridge on Station and Railroad avenues in Bensalem Township. Crews managed to safely get passengers off the bus.
The storms caused chaos for both the media and demonstrators during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Storm clouds turned the skies black over Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park as hundreds of activists readied to listen to Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Some people made their way out of the park as lightning lit up the skies but others stayed to hear the speech.
The storm quickly turned torrential Monday evening with sheets of rain blowing sideways down south Broad Street. The severe storm didn't deter a group of protesters from chanting, "Feel the Bern" up against a metal fence at Broad and Pattison however.
Police, media, delegates and convention volunteers sought refuge from the storm at SEPTA's AT&T station near the Wells Fargo Center. Some conventioneers braved the rain however, even without umbrellas, leaving them soaked in tailored suits and summer dresses.
Journalists were also evacuated from the DNC press center. The Democratic National Committee recommended journalists leave the media compound because there was no protection against a direct lightning strike. They were directed to Lincoln Financial Field.
Before the storms, residents across Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey dealt with sweltering heat. By Monday afternoon we hit the midpoint of our heat wave and the hottest temperatures, too -- reaching 98 degrees. However, it felt way worse. The heat index ranged between 105 and 110 degrees.
The dangerous heat felt far more oppressive than what we’ve seen so far. The heat also fueled the storms Monday afternoon and evening leading to lightning, heavy rain, strong wind and flooding.
This same pattern continues for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The temperatures decrease very gradually and the humidity comes down a bit as well. The next active storm day will be Thursday where a 92 degree forecast will be coupled with muggy conditions, and feel like 100. There will also be strong afternoon storms.
If you’re coming to our city for the convention, welcome. We’ll keep you posted right here as the weather changes. If you’re from around here, I’m sure you’ve been thinking about heading to the Shore if you haven’t already. It’s going to be 5-10 degrees cooler there, so burn some of that extra vacation time and beat the heat (and the crowds).
A number of local municipalities are taking measures to help people stay cool and protect residents from serious health problems excessive heat can cause. Allentown reduced fees at its public pools, allowing residents to swim for free through the heat wave.
In Philadelphia, the Heat Line is up and running at 215-765-9040, and in Montgomery County, officials issued a code red through 6 p.m. on Tuesday for excessive heat.