This post is from here and written by Sarah Reyes.

The City continues to manage the storm damage and flooding impacts from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management has opened reception centers for people who may be impacted by storm damage, including flooding at their residences.

The region has seen historic flooding on the Schuylkill River along with other waterways in the city. 

If you live in a flood-prone area and are experiencing flooding, please shelter in place until the water recedes and it becomes safe to leave your home. 

To help the City understand the extent of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and to see where resources and recovery assistance may be needed, we’re asking anyone impacted by this severe storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into our damage assessment toolPhilly311 is available for help completing the survey by phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Friday.

Additional weather alerts or emergency information will be sent to ReadyPhiladelphia subscribers (via text message) as well as on OEM’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Below, residents can find:

  • Rolling updates.
  • Where to report issues.
  • Helpful links and resources.
  • Frequently asked questions.

Recent Updates 

September 5, 2021

Reception Centers

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) two reception centers, which were opened for people who were impacted by storm damage and flooding, are now closed. If people are in need of shelter, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Guidance from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Residents and river users are reminded that State law prohibits all recreational boating, except rowing sweeps and sculls (and their attendant safety boats) below the Girard Bridge. In addition, City and State officials are urging extreme caution for any recreational activity on or along the Schuylkill River while storm damage assessment continues.

Damage Assessment

Beginning today, OEM and the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections are working with partners from FEMA, PEMA, and the U.S. Small Business Administration to document the damage in affected locations in the city. The team will visit Manayunk, East Falls, and Center City. The process is expected to take several days.

Note that on Friday, September 3, Mayor Kenney issued a local emergency declaration.

Information and Resources for Residents and Business Owners

Businesses and homeowners are urged to take photos of any storm or flood damage. If it is safe to do so, take photos before any repairs are made. To help the City understand the extent of damage and to see where resources may be needed, we are urging residents and businesses impacted by the storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into OEM’s damage assessment tool at phila.gov/oem/storm. This tool and the on-site damage assessment by OEM and partners helps the City inform state and federal agencies about local damages and access future resources to aid recovery. Damage can also be reported to 311 during standard hours, which includes interpretation services for non-English speaking business or home owners.


Where to report issues

Damage assessment survey

To help the City understand the extent of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and to see where resources and recovery assistance may be needed, we’re asking anyone impacted by this severe storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into our damage assessment tool.

Gas odors

If anyone smells a gas odor, they should immediately leave the area and call 911 or Philadelphia Gas Works at 215-235-1212 and provide the address or location. PGW’s Customer Call Center (215-235-1000) will be open.

Drinking water quality issues

Residents who experience discolored water after flooding should call (215) 685-6300 right away so an inspector can investigate.

Clogged inlets

PWD crews worked to clear storm drains of mud and debris after the flooding from Hurricane Ida, but if residents believe any local inlets are not draining properly, they should report the exact location by calling (215) 685-6300.

Fallen trees

  • Street trees 
    • If a tree falls and is blocking a road, or it has fallen on a house, car or other property, call 911. Emergency services will respond to make the location safe.
    • If the fallen tree is touching electrical wires, please call PECO at (800) 841-4141 to report.
    • For non-emergency tree requests contact Philly311. Non-emergencies include downed trees or branches that are not blocking a road or not on a house, car, or property, or when not touching electrical wires.
  • Park trees
    • If a tree falls in an open area of a park, please contact Philly311 to report. 311 will send a service request to the Parks & Rec maintenance team to clear the fallen tree. 
    • For emergencies involving park trees, please call 911. These emergencies would include park trees that have fallen onto playground equipment, cars, or the street. 
  • Private property trees
    • Fallen trees on private property are the property owner’s responsibility to resolve. If a tree from a neighboring property has caused damage to your property, please seek legal counsel. 

Crisis Cleanup 

Home Cleanup Hotline has been activated for the Commonwealth. Those needing assistance can sign up by calling the national toll-free number at 844-965-1386. Signing up for Crisis Cleanup does not guarantee help and calling Crisis Cleanup does not replace calling local or county emergency management to report the damage. 


Helpful links and resources


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information about flooding and resources?

Residents and businesses can find information about flooding response and resources on the  City’s Flood Management Program page, including flooding resources for various areas impacted by flooding.

If your property experiences flooding, complete the City’s Flood Report Survey to provide the City with information that can help the City plan for the future.

Once waters recede, businesses and homeowners should take photos of any storm or flood damage. If it is safe to do so, take photos before any repairs are made.

Who can I contact for financial assistance?

If you have renter’s or owner’s insurance, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Please note that flood damage is not typically covered by typical insurance policies: Flood insurance is a separate policy/rider. Ask who you should talk to about cleaning up your home. Document damage by taking pictures, if the area is safe. Consider making a list of all the items damaged. Save all receipts for any money spent during recovery.

Who can I contact to help clean up the damage? 

If you have insurance, contact your insurance company to ask about recommended contractors/water damage restoration companies.  

Repairs may first require obtaining a permit from the City. Visit the following website to ensure that the contractor you hire is licensed

Before hiring any contractor, you should research the contractor – including checking multiple references, searching the internet, and contacting the Better Business Bureau – to ensure that the contractor is competent and honest. 

My house is flooded, but I have nowhere to go. How do I get lodging? 

Please reach out to the Red Cross hotline: 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).  

Where can I get meals? 

Please call 311, which has a variety of resources they can refer you to. City-supported public food sites can also be found by visiting phila.gov/food.

I do not have important items with me 

How do I get paper documentation such as a license or proof of ID? 

  • PennDOT provides replacements of destroyed vehicle titles, driver’s licenses, and vehicle registration cards following a disaster. Please call 800-932-4600 or visit penndot.gov.  
  • You can request a replacement Social Security card online
  • The PA Department of Health provides copies of birth and death certificates. A state declaration is required for fees to be waived. Please call 717-772-3480 or visit health.pa.gov

How do I get medications?

Contact your pharmacy to ask about an emergency refill. If you have a Medicare drug plan, your plan may cover replacement medicine. When leaving your home, please remember to bring any medications you have and copies of your prescriptions.   

Where can I access legal services? 

Community Legal Services (CLS) offers attorney support for housing, public benefits, employment, and many other areas. They can be reached at 215-981-3700 or clsphila.org/.   

What mental health supports are available? 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, the 24/7 Suicide Crisis & Intervention phone number is 1-800-273-855, or text “HOME” to 741741.  

The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) operates a free, 24/7 Mental Health Delegate phone number. Delegates can assist with information, guidance, and referrals for you and your family. They can be reached at 215-685-6440.   

Additionally, you can learn more about Mental Health First aid and get free mental health screening by visiting Healthy Minds Philly.  


Past updates

September 3, 2021

City buildings 

City offices will be closed to the public tomorrow, Friday, September 3 due to the continued impact of yesterday’s storm and the ongoing flooding hazard. Employees who can work remotely should check with their supervisor and do so.

City services

The City will be operating essential services only. 

Trash and recycling collections: Residents should continue to set materials out on their regular collection day. Trash and recycling collections will continue in areas unaffected by flooding. Residents should expect delays in areas where roads are impacted by flooding.

Philly311: The Philly 311 Call Center will remain open 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. to take calls for non-emergencies.

City Health Centers: Health centers will be open and operating regular hours

The Philadelphia Water Department’s customer contact center (215-685-6300) will be open.

The First Judicial District of Philadelphia announced that Philadelphia courts will be closed on Friday to ensure the safety of employees and court users.

Road closures and public transit

Numerous roads will remain closed, including heavily traveled portions of I-676, I-76, and Kelly Drive. 

SEPTA will post real-time travel updates at septa.org and @SEPTA on Twitter. Riders should expect service disruptions and delays to continue through the day. For those who have to travel, the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines are the best options and provide access to essential services throughout the City.

School District of Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia announced that school buildings will be closed on Friday, September 3. Students will engage in 100% virtual learning and instruction.

Reception Center

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management has opened a reception center for people who may be impacted by storm damage, including flooding at their residences. A reception center is a safe location operated by the City and Red Cross where people can go to get out of harm’s way, receive information and guidance along with resources and basic necessities to those affected.

Crisis Cleanup Home Cleanup Hotline has been activated for the Commonwealth. 

Crisis Cleanup is a national partner that captures data from homeowners who experienced storm-related damage that require assistance.  The information collected is made available to all the helping agencies in the area that provide free crisis cleanup services.  These volunteer-based teams generally perform tree removal, mucking, mold remediation, tarping, debris removal, rebuilding, and other essential services.   

Those needing assistance can sign up by calling the national toll-free number at 844-965-1386. Signing up for Crisis Cleanup does not guarantee help, but the requested needs are visible to all the helping agencies in the area who may reach out if assistance is available. 

Calling Crisis Cleanup does not replace calling local or county emergency management to report the damage.  

Businesses

The Philadelphia Department of Commerce is gathering information about neighborhood business areas that have been affected. If your area has a number of businesses that have been impacted by the flooding, and you haven’t been in touch with Commerce about this damage, you can contact business@phila.gov.  

Damage Assessment Survey

To help the City understand the extent of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and to see where resources and recovery assistance may be needed, we’re asking anyone impacted by this severe storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into our damage assessment tool.

Philadelphia Water Department

If a Water customer’s property experiences flooding, we ask that they complete the City’s Flood Report Survey to provide us with information that can help the City plan for the future. Once waters recede, businesses and homeowners should take photos of any storm or flood damage. If it is safe to do so, take photos before any repairs are made.

September 2, 2021

City services

Trash and recycling collections will continue in areas unaffected by flooding, expect delays. Residents should continue to set materials out on their regular day. The city will be operating essential services only. 

The First Judicial District of Philadelphia also announced that Philadelphia courts will be closed today.

More information about City services for September 2, 2021 is available here.

City buildings closed

The City of Philadelphia announced that all city offices will be closed to the public today due to the continued impact of yesterday’s storm and the ongoing flooding hazard. Employees who can work remotely should check with their supervisor and do so.

Road closures and public transit

Numerous roads are closed this morning, including heavily travelled portions of I-676, I-76, and Kelly Drive. There is also an impact on SEPTA mass transit service.

Reception Centers

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management has opened reception centers for people who may be impacted by storm damage, including flooding at their residence. A reception center is a safe location operated by the City and Red Cross where people can go to get out of harm’s way, receive information and guidance along with resources and basic necessities to those affected.

Damage Assessment Survey

To help the City understand the extent of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and to see where resources and recovery assistance may be needed, we’re asking anyone impacted by this severe storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into our damage assessment tool.

School District of Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia announced a two-hour delay. Families, media, and the public are urged to monitor the District website for updated information.

Philadelphia Water Department

The Philadelphia Water Department’s customer contact center (215-685-6300) will be open. Once waters recede, businesses and homeowners should take photos of any storm or flood damage. If it is safe to do so, take photos before any repairs are made. If a Water customer’s property experiences flooding, we ask that they complete the City’s Flood Report Survey to provide us with information that can help the City plan for the future. Complete the City’s damage assessment survey Visit the City’s Flood Management Program page

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