Two Rescued During Flash Flood Near Historic Covered Bridge
By Watchdesk
June 21, 2019

BERWYN, PA - On Thursday, June 20th, the Berwyn Fire Company was dispatched at 5:33 a.m. to the area of Valley Forge Road (Rt. 252) and Yellow Springs Road in Tredyffrin Township near the Valley Forge National Historical Park Covered Bridge for a water rescue. Due to the high risk involved with this type of call, additional resources were dispatched from the Phoenixville Fire Department for their rescue boat and Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company for scene control.

The roadway where this call occurred runs alongside Valley Creek that has a history of swelling quickly during heavy rainstorms. The Valley Creek rain gauge indicated 1.57 inches of rain fell in less than an hour and the creek was flowing over 12 feet high. On a normal day you can stand in most parts of the creek and the water is at or below your knees. As this incident was unfolding, Berwyn EMS was also requested to assist the Paoli Fire Company with a motor vehicle collision on Rt. 202 also in Tredyffrin.

First arriving personnel encountered one vehicle in the water with the driver and passenger still inside. A three-person rescue team entered the water to safely remove the subjects before 6:00 a.m. At the same time additional fire/EMS personnel stoodby upstream, which included a spotter to watch for debris coming down the creek that could harm responders. Fortunately the driver, passenger and all responders were uninjured during this incident. The flood waters receded by 7:30 a.m. and the roads in the immediate area re-opened after they were cleaned up.

The Tredyffrin Township Police Department assisted with blocking the roadway leading into the area to provide for the safety of rescuers and to prevent any motorists from getting caught in a similar situation.

The Berwyn Fire Company strongly encourages that if you can't see the road in front of you due to flooding conditions, "Turn around, don't drown!" You need to seek high ground and wait to drive your car, or you will risk getting trapped in swift water.

Although the assistance of Phoenixville Fire Department was ultimately not needed, knowing that they were on the way to help was a greatly appreciated. This response is another great example of the investment and training by BFC personnel coming to fruition when needed.