(UPPER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP, Penn.) — Four people have died and as many as three people remain unaccounted for after torrential rain caused flash flooding in Upper Makefield Township in Pennsylvania Saturday, officials in Bucks County said Sunday.
Authorities are still searching for three people: Two siblings – a 9-month-old boy and a 2-year-old girl – and an adult female.
The worst of the flooding occurred along Route 532, between Aqueduct Road and Wrightstown Road, police said. The flash flooding caught many people on the road by surprise, and several people were trapped in their vehicles, according to the Upper Makefield Township Police Department.
The victims were not local to the area, Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said at a press conference Sunday. Two of the victims got out of their vehicles before the water swept them away, Brewer said. The third victim was in their vehicle when they were taken by the floodwaters.
When asked about the potential relationship between those that died and those that are missing, Brewer said “one family has been severely affected.”
Authorities said they were able to save one woman who was trapped in her vehicle. None of the victims have been publicly identified at this time.
Five feet of water rose from the Houghs Creek onto the road, Brewer said. “It was violent and fast moving.”
Eleven vehicles were found in the water, and authorities watched as three of them were swept away. One of the vehicles was found 1.5 miles away from where it originally went into the creek, the fire chief said.
Search efforts will continue Sunday for the three people who remain unaccounted for, though Brewer said he is “fairly certain” that it will become a recovery mission.
Multiple roadways are closed at this time due to heavy debris.
“I thought Hurricane Ida was the benchmark, last September or the September before for sure, I thought that it was the benchmark. This is a new benchmark,” Brewer said. “In my 44 years, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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