Hurricane Ida damage: Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania township still rebuilding a year after EF-2 tornado


UPPER DUBLIN TWP., Pa. (WPVI) — Before Hurricane Ida, images of a flooded Vine Street freeway, Manayunk underwater and an EF-2 tornado hitting Upper Dublin Township would have been unthinkable.

“You could see everything swirling. You could see trees swirling. A tree came through my living room through the front door,” said Ambler resident Trish Menszak.

It has been almost a year since a tornado tore through Stewart Creek Townhomes in Ambler. Even after all this time, owner Trish Menszak says her repairs were completed just two weeks ago.

“It’s all really surreal,” Menszak said. “One, you never expect this to happen to you. Second, you certainly don’t think it’s going to be a whole year before you can walk into your house and go back to what’s normal.”

SEE ALSO: FEMA is investigating damage from Ida tornadoes in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

And she is one of the lucky ones. There are still many houses with tarps, Xs on the doors and many are being rebuilt.

A spokesperson for Upper Dublin Township said that of the 115 homes deemed uninhabitable after the storm, less than half are still unoccupied.

“We are still struggling,” said Traci Clapham, tornado relief coordinator for Upper Dublin Lutheran Church. “Every person was changed by this event. Some things are really heartbreaking, what people had to go through.”

The community is mobilizing. Last weekend, the Upper Dublin Lutheran Church hosted an event to share resources and support.

And as reconstruction continues, the Red Cross says it is preparing for the next storm.

“Have a plan to have an emergency kit out there and know it can happen to you,” said Guy Triano, CEO of the Red Cross’ Eastern Pennsylvania Region.

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