City officials provide update on Hurricane Ida

Mayor Jim Kenney provides an update Friday on the recovery and cleanup after the remnants of Hurricane Ida in a briefing at the Fire Administration Building. —TRIBUNE PHOTO/ABDUL R. SULAYMAN

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has confirmed that Made in America will go on as planned this Labor Day weekend, despite the Schuylkill River flooding near the Ben Franklin Parkway.

"I think it's good for the city to have this kind of event, so we can celebrate a little bit even in the midst of potential tragedy,” Kenney said during a press conference at the Fire Administration Building Friday. “It will be nice to have some fun wouldn't it?"”

Kenney said the city is able to continue to supply resources to clean up the flooded areas while also holding the two-day concert.

The event, which is curated by musician/producer Jay Z and will feature acts like Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, and Justin Bieber will happen just days after the Schuylkill River flooded the Vine Street Expressway due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

The Schuylkill River is currently below flood stage as waters have started to recede. The cresting level is expected to come in about 16.5 feet, which is lower than the 152-year-record set at 17 feet in 1869.

"This thing has been planned for an entire year or more,” Kenney said. “There are big commitments made. There have been people booked, There have been tickets sold. We can do two things at once.”

Kenney said concertgoers should expect delays this weekend and encouraged people to take mass transit.

"Things will be more accessible by the time Saturday afternoon rolls around,” Kenney said. “We'll hopefully have the water down, start to clean up, open up some of the other streets.

“People should plan to come on mass transit if possible,” he added. “They've gotten there all the years we've had it, I'm sure they'll get there again."

The city of Philadelphia is in the midst of recovery and cleanup mode after the remnants of Hurricane Ida left the city and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania with historic flooding.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said the recovery process could take months.

“We’re really going to need your help,” he said “We can see a lot of damage in certain places, but we cannot see into people's homes or basements, so please go online and enter that damage.

“You can put photos on there, you’re probably not going to get an instant response but rest assured we have collected that information,” he added.

Roads such as Lincoln Drive and Ridge Avenue have reopened. While the Vine Street Expressway, Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive remain closed, more roads should be accessible by Saturday.

City officials weren’t able to provide an exact number of how many residents had to be evacuated. No storm-related fatalities have been reported in Philadelphia.

The city’s reception center at West Philadelphia High School at 4901 Chestnut St. remains open for residents who need a place to evacuate due to the flooding.

SEPTA will continue to post real-time travel updates but riders should expect service disruptions and delays to continue. The best option for travelers is the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines.

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

For more information on resources, visit phila.gov/oem/storm. For SEPTA updates and cancellation call 215-580-7800.

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