Hurricane Floyd, 24 Years Later: Flooding Led To Changes In Bucks County

Hurricane Floyd caused major damage in Bucks County.

A responder using a boat during Hurricane Floyd. File photo.

It has been 24 years since Hurricane Floyd brought more than 7 inches of rain to the Levittown area.

The hurricane is often recalled in Bucks County for its flooding and the impacts it caused.

The hurricane hit the East Coast and caused heavy rainfall that led to severe flooding after a dry summer.

According to news reports and government records records, the storm led to thousands of people being evacuated from their homes in Bucks County, tens of thousands being in the dark, and damage throughout the area, including washing a home along the Neshaminy Creek of its foundation.

The flooding led to six homes in Bristol Borough being damaged so badly that the Bucks County Health Department ordered them to be torn down, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s reporting.

The storm was strong enough to virtually cut off New Hope Borough from the rest of the county due to road closures in the wake of the hurricane.

The Newtown area saw many downed trees and limbs on local roadways.

The Swamp Road bridge in Wrightstown Township had to be reconstructed after its supports buckled due to the hurricane’s flood damage.

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Floyd is among the top three largest flooding events along the Neshaminy Creek. The creek crested at 21.91 feet.

The hurricane led to then-President Bill Clinton declaring Bucks County a major disaster area in the wake of the storm.

According to a 2003 Doylestown Intelligencer article, Floyd prompted the Bucks County government and local fire companies to increase training and supplies to address flooding and swift water rescues for future storms.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time that fire companies from around Lower Bucks County rushed to calls related to flooding, including rescuing motorists from stranded cars.

New Hope Borough ended up getting a boat for the New Hope Eagle Fire Company in the wake of the hurricane, citing the lack of one to use for water rescues.

Some of the worst damage was along the Neshaminy Creek in the lower and central parts of the county.

The hurricane led to the county implementing a 15-year mitigation program that cost $27 million, which was largely funded by the federal government.

The mitigation program involved 47 property buyouts, 85 home elevations, 37 mitigation home renovations since it began following Hurricane Floyd’s flooding. The program focused on homes in Lower Bucks County, but also helped homeowners in Central Bucks County.

Many of the properties that were part of the mitigation program were also impacted by severe flooding in the mid-1990s.

In Pennsylvania, Hurricane Floyd was reported to have killed 13 people and caused millions of dollars in damage.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.