During last week’s rains the Schuylkill River saw intense flooding, washing out flood-prone neighborhoods and submerging the Schuylkill River Trail and the new boardwalk under construction.
When the waters receded, the damage became clear: a washout that rivaled Hurricane Irene and wrought more damage that Superstorm Sandy.
“A lot of what the flood did was to move large amounts of gravel and sand… into the grass and obviously deposited a ton of mud,” said Zoe Axelrod, Program Associate at Schuylkill River Development Corporation.
Now Schuylkill Banks needs a hand getting the trail and plantings back into respectable shape. Volunteers rallied to work on the trail over the weekend, helping shovel, rake, and remove leaves and trash from fences and plants. There are two more opportunities to help this week:
Flooding is one of the reasons the Schuylkill River Trail exists, serving as a green buffer that helps absorb stormwater. Axelrod said that it appears that the new boardwalk under construction from Locust to South streets was unaffected by the high water, though it is still being inspected.
Ashley Hahn is an independent writer with a background in historic preservation and city planning. She started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from 2015-2017. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York. She is a Philadelphian by choice.