Webster Highlights the Need for Renewed Focus on Stormwater Management

COLLEGEVILLE, Dec. 11 – ­­State Rep. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, is emphasizing the need for renewed attention on stormwater management in Pennsylvania as the commonwealth is hit yet again by dangerous weather.

Throughout Sunday, Dec. 10, Webster’s district received about 1.6 inches of rain as a result of a nation-wide storm system that flooded the Pacific Northwest earlier in the week and produced extreme thunderstorms and deadly tornados in the south. 


“Those who live along or near the Perkiomen Creek like myself, know that it does not take a big storm for the “Perky” to get full,” Webster said. “This was a big storm. Less than 2 inches of rain falling doesn’t sound like a lot, but the USGS gauge at Graterford on the Perkiomen Creek topped at almost 9 feet.”  


In comparison, during Hurricane Ida in 2021, the district saw nearly 10 inches of rain in the span of a day, raising the Graterford gauge to higher than 20 feet, equivalent to 2,100 tons of water a second or an Olympic-sized swimming pool passing by every second.

“In Hurricane Ida we saw homes destroyed, businesses ruined, and public and private infrastructure completely eroded away. And it left our region even more susceptible to flooding.”


Webster’s district sits within the Perkiomen Watershed, an area that encompasses parts of Montgomery, Bucks, Berks and Lehigh counties. This 362-square-mile region includes suburban communities, small, bustling towns, and large areas of forests and farmlands. The combination of historic development along the Perkiomen and its tributaries, newer developments that followed now out-of-date stormwater regulations, and unique landforms create opportunities for damaging flooding throughout the watershed.


In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Webster was able to include funding in the Pennsylvania 2021-22 budget to examine flooding throughout the Perkiomen Creek watershed and look for ways to reduce flooding and minimize property damage. A contract with Montgomery County is pending approvals at state Department of Environmental Protection. Once approved, coordination between the four counties within the watershed will begin in earnest and the Perkiomen Creek Flood Mitigation Planning process will begin.


The Perkiomen Creek Flood Mitigation Planning process will involve county and municipal governments, non-profit organizations and others who can assist in identifying the issues and possible solutions. It is anticipated that recommendations will range from regional projects to actions any property owner, large or small, can take to help reduce flooding.


“This Perkiomen Watershed study is a fantastic initiative because it looks at the whole picture – heavy rain upstream, extreme flooding downstream and how we must work together to address stormwater before it becomes devastating flood water,” Webster said.


Webster represents the 150th Legislative District, which includes Collegeville, Trappe, Lower and Upper Providence, and West Norriton, and serves on the House Appropriations, Environmental Resources and Energy, Finance, State Government, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees. For more information, call Webster’s office at (484) 200-8263 or email RepWebster@PAHouse.net