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Storm devastates Chester County; damage extensive in Oxford

Damage was extensive in Oxford as officials investigate reports of a tornado.

Cleanup operations will continue today in the wake of a storm from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that saw flash flooding, evacuations, vehicle rescues, and structure damage. Officials are working to confirm a report of a possible tornado that touched down in Oxford.

About 120 Pennsylvania National Guard members remain on active duty statewide to support local emergency and rescue operations. The Commonwealth Response Coordination Center at PEMA remains activated.This morning, many roadways are impassable. Closed are I-76 and I-696, Valley Forge Rod, Morehall Road, Pennsylvania Avenue, Manor Road at First Avenue, Darby Paoli Road, Leopard Road and Schuylkill Road.Many schools in Chester County closed for the day. Chester County government offices, facilities and courts also closed due to the storm.In Oxford, damage was extensive with reports of siding being ripped from several houses. In Coatesville near Olive Street, flooding was so high in nearly rose to the level of house roofs.Residents downstream of Pickering Creek Dam on Valley Forge Road were evacuated due to the possibility of a dam failure.Rainfall totals varied in parts of the county. In a section of East Goshen, more than 7 inches of rain fell.Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a proclamation of disaster emergency, which allows state agencies to more easily pre-position resources and respond more quickly to requests for state assistance.

West Goshen Police Chief Mike Carroll reported that it had been a “very busy evening.”

A large tree toppled onto a Longview Drive house and trapped a resident who was rescued by the West Chester Fire Department.

While several roads were closed due to Goose Creek flooding, including Gay Street and Montgomery Avenue at the gateway to West Chester, there were no significant injuries to police, first responders or residents.

Within an hour of when the heavy rains first fell, much of West Chester was flooded and under water.

By 3 p.m. debris clogged many storm grates.

Due to Goose Creek flooding, Gay Street was closed from Montgomery to Penn streets and Market Street was closed from Walnut to Worthington streets, for most of the  evening.

Borough Police counted about a dozen water rescues. Most were due to drivers proceeding past police installed barricades.

Several basements on East Nield and South Adams streets were flooded.

Source: Berkshire mont

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