Soaking overnight rain caused flooding in parts of the Philadelphia region overnight, including a stretch of the Schuylkill Expressway (Interstate 76) in Montgomery County that was closed for 10 hours causing backed up traffic on surrounding roads during the busy morning commute.
A clogged pipe was to blame for the I-76 mess, PennDOT later said.
The eastbound lanes of I-76 were closed from The Blue Route (Interstate 476) to Belmont Avenue leaving drivers stranded for more than six hours overnight.
Manayunk’s Matthew Christopher got stuck on the highway near the Conshohocken/Route 23 Exit around midnight. He spoke to NBC10 just after 5:30 a.m.
“There was a period when we didn’t really know what was going on,” Christopher said.
Crews then came and knocked on drivers' window to alert them about what was going on.
By 5:30 a.m. some tractor-trailers were able to get by the flooding but drivers in passenger cars were being directed to turn around and go the wrong way on the highway.
Traffic was slow on the westbound side but the roadway remained open.
By 9 a.m., most of the water was gone but the road remained closed as crews worked to clean it up using what appeared to be a vacuum truck. PennDOT later said a drainage pipe jammed, causing the water to overflow.
One lane finally reopened around 9:50 a.m. with all lanes open about 30 minutes later. Crews later, however, closed the right lane again as street sweepers cleaned up mud left behind.
Detoured drivers took surface roads like Route 23, Lancaster Avenue or Ridge Avenue/Pike to get back on I-76 at Belmont or City avenues. Most of the surface roads were slow due to more drivers than normal.
Flooding also caused problems along Route 38 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and at Richards and Glenhardie roads in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County.
If you see a flooded roadway turn around and don't try to drive through as you may not know how deep the water is.