About a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the 1971 flood in Eyre Park (pronounced ‘Air Park’) that caught the eye of a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who used to live in Chester. He was recently asked by someone if he knew about the condition of the memorial for Eyre Park flood victims. In his research he found my post.
Anthony Wood reached out and made a visit to Chester to ask me a few questions about what I remember about the flood. Next thing I know, he wrote a great article on the Eyre Park flood in last week’s Inquirer.
Wood’s did a great job recounting the flood and included people who lived there so we could hear from them. I wasn’t expecting him to use as many quotes from me as he did, but those of us kids who remembered the flood would have shared the same thing from our 10-year old memories.
Ironically, the article came out on the same week remnants of hurricane Ida skirted past Chester. I hear people saying Ida wrapped around Chester and spared us heavy flooding that places less than 10-miles from Chester were devastated by. Chester did receive about an inch of rain an hour from about 4pm to 11pm. That’s a lot of rain.
I believe the work the Chester Stormwater Authority has done in some of the hard hit neighborhoods is responsible for Chester not seeing the usual flooding when Ida came through. This past year, there have been a lot new stormwater construction under our streets to add new pipe and clear outlets and pipes that have been neglected for a long time.
Hopefully, Chester never sees another tragedy like Eyre Park due to flooding.