On Tuesday August 2nd, Berks County was hit by heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Isaias resulting in numerous emergency incidents in the county. Fortunately our area in Western Berks County was relatively unscathed with only some minor flooding of roadways and low lying areas. However Eastern Berks County was hit hard resulting in numerous water rescues.
At approximately 1pm Marine 18 with 3 water rescue personnel was mobilized by Berks DES to the Boyertown area to assist with rescues in that portion of the county. While enroute, Marine 18 was dispatched to a water rescue in Pike Township for an occupant trapped in a house surrounded by rising water. Prior to making it on scene Marine 18 was cancelled due to crews on scene who had made access to the occupant.
Shortly after, Marine 18 was sent to assist Lyons Volunteer Fire Company in Rockland Township with 2 trapped occupants in a house that was surrounded by water from a creek that had overflowed its banks. WBFD personnel arrived on scene and determined the best plan for rescue and began to assemble. Crews utilized rope, rigging, and an inflatable rescue boat to safely make it to the occupants who were roughly 250’ from dry ground. Once the rescue was complete crews checked several other homes in the area and confirmed no other occupants were in distress. Water rescue personnel from Shillington Fire Company and Keystone Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 of Myerstown assisted as a safety team at the request of our water rescue personnel.
After Marine 18 cleared from Rockland Township they were then sent to active water rescues in Amity Township, assisting Amity Fire and Rescue. Personnel arrived on scene and breifly assisted with a few door to door checks of homes in high water. Marine 18 returned home after this incident and was out for approximately 7 hours, in total.
While all this was happening in the Eastern portion of the county, additional WBFD crews were sent to assist Muhlenberg Township Fire & Rescue with pump outs as they again had a large volume of calls due to flooding in their area. Crews assisted for approximately 4 hours.