Wayne's Hellertown Hurricane Ivan Aftermath Page - Masthead Image

Special Hurricane Links for Victims of Katrina and Rita, 2005

Give.org - http://www.give.org
Stormaid.com - http://www.stormaid.com
American Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org
The Salvation Army - http://www.salvationarmy.org

Important Announcement!

Hellertown Rebuilds Page
Hellertown Rebuilds Page - Primary Site
Hellertown Rebuilds Page - Mirror Site No. 1
Hellertown Rebuilds Page - Mirror Site No. 2 (Slow)

The damage in Hellertown has been repaired and Depot Street and the Community
Pool have reopened!  The new web page visually chronicles the events
of the last two years.  The new web page is loaded with images depicting
the various stages of demolition and reconstruction of the pool and Depot Street
tunnel.  Click any of the above links to view the new page!

September 17, 2004 - The Night of the Hurricane

The night of September 17th, 2004 was a night that will be remembered for many years to come in Hellertown, Pennsylvania.   I still remember the rain and wind that pounded my house all night long.  The next day, the residents of Hellertown were shocked by the flooding and damage done by Hurricane Ivan's destructive force.  Most people are familiar with the catastrophic destruction caused by this hurricane in the Southeastern United States.  The people in those states and in the islands surrounding the mainland suffered terribly.  Eastern Pennsylvania was also victimized by Ivan and most people were unprepared for the scope of the destruction.  After careful consideration, I decided to create this page for the specific purpose of chronicling what this hurricane did to just one of the small towns it passed over.

September 18, 2004 - The Aftermath

Ivan caused dramatic damage to personal property due to flooding of basements and wind damage.  It caused cars to wash into each other and produced gaping fissures in asphalt parking lots.  It uprooted huge trees and forced some people to abandon their automobiles.  It caused bridges to become unusable and made roads impassable.  Possibly the worst result of this storm was the destruction done at the Hellertown community swimming pool.  Due to erosion and extensive soaking from the heavy rain, the back corner of the pool lot collapsed into the adjoining stream.  This section of the property is where the pump machinery chamber was located and it was totally destroyed.  The pool itself appears to be intact but can't be operated without the pumps.   The pool won't reopen in 2005 and local residents will be paying a significant increase in their local taxes to pay for the damaged roads and bridges and to repair the pool.  I've learned that at least $500,000 worth of damage was done in Hellertown alone.  This page contains pictures I took on September 18th and includes accompanying descriptions.

This hurricane lasted a very long time and did something I've never heard of another storm doing.  After it had tracked to the Northeast and went out to sea, it moved back down the Atlantic coast and circled back in to the Gulf of Mexico.   It then regained some strength and made landfall over the Gulf states and finally died out.  I was glad to see it go.

Click the picture to view a larger copy of the image in a separate browser window.  Note: If you are using a popup blocker, the new browser window may not load.
Destroyed Walking Bridge
Destroyed Pedestrian Bridge
This picture shows the remnants of the pedestrian bridge that used to cross Silver Creek.  This stream is usually very shallow but looks like a small river in this image.  The water level was much higher than this the previous night!  If you follow the stream up to its originating point, you will see a bit of the damage that was done to the pump house at the community pool.  This is where a substantial amount of earth, mortar and stone collapsed into the stream and destroyed the pump machinery and another building.

I have included a closeup of this part of the image below.  The stream flows through a large drain pipe that passes beneath Depot Street.  Since the collapse, the remnants of the stone wall were demolished and Depot Street is impassable.
Closeup of Damage at the Community Pool
Collapse of Earth and Stone Structure Behind Pool.
This image shows a closeup view of the site of the collapse behind the Community Pool.  If you look closely, you can see part of the large drain pipe and some pieces of the collapsed stone wall in different spots.  This area looks much different now as there was significant demolition to make the area safer.   For safety reasons, most of the park and area surrounding the pool was cordoned off.  A week later, I was able to approach very close to the damaged area and took some additional pictures which will be available on this page in the near future.
Abandoned Car at the Meadows Road Bridge
Abandoned Car on Meadows Road
This is a car that was abandoned at the Meadows Road bridge that crosses over the creek.  In this image, the one-lane bridge appears to descend into a lake!  This area commonly floods but this is the worst flooding I've seen in this specific location.
Pumping Water out of the Police Station Lower Level
Pumping Water out of the Police Station Lower Level
Water is being pumped out of the lower level of the building that houses the Hellertown Borough Hall and Police Station.
Big Mess on Water Street
Big Mess on Water Street
'Downtown' Hellertown on the morning of September 18th.  This is the intersection of Main and Water streets.  You are looking down Water Street which has been closed for cleanup of debris near the old bridge that is on the edge of town near the apartments on Front Street.

This area was strewn with debris and mud.  I even noticed that a large number of golf balls had washed several blocks into downtown from the golf course!  Mud and standing water covered the roads and parking lots.
Storage Shed Jammed Into the Bank Drive-Through Lane!
Storage Shed Jammed Into the Bank Drive-Through Lane!
A storage shed was washed into the drive-through lane at the bank!  This picture shows a crew of workers who are loading the shed onto a flatbed tow truck.  Also visible, is the large expanse of mud and water covering the parking lot.
Another View of the Mess at the Bank
Another View of the Mess at the Bank
Another View of the Mess at the Bank.  On the right, you can see the fallen sign that was displayed in the above picture of Water & Main.  The bank apparently didn't suffer too much from this incident and was open for business two days later.
Cars Swept Into Each Other
Cars Swept Into Each Other
This picture was taken at the parking lot of an assisted-living facility.  In this image, you can see four cars that were washed into each other by the heavy rain and flood water.  The parking lot is heavily cracked from water damge to the asphalt.  I edited the picture slightly to protect the privacy of the parties involved.

Two Weeks Later...

(These pictures were taken about two weeks after the hurricane struck.)

Closeup of the Pool Damage
Closeup of the Pool Damage
This picture shows an overview of the damage that occurred after the drain pipe (or tunnel), the pump chamber and the stone wall collapsed into the stream.  As of today, this area looks the same, awaiting whatever repairs will be effected by the local government.
An even closer view of the Pool Damage
An even closer view of the Pool Damage
This image shows the disintegrated remains of the pump chamber amid the remnants of the collaped stone wall.
A Different Angle of the Damaged Pump Chamber
A Different Angle of the Damaged Pump Chamber
This image shows the remains of the pump chamber with the rear end of the Pool facility building in the background.
Damage on Depot Street
Damage on Depot Street
You are looking down Depot Street in this picture.  This road sustained damage from the undermining flood waters which also affected the support tunnel which allows Silver Creek to pass under it.
Post Office Road Closed
Post Office Road Closed
Saucon Creek passes by the Post Office.  The bridge on this road was deemed unpassable a few days after the hurricane passed through.  They repaired the bridge a few months ago and the road has been reopened.

Hellertown Links:

Saucon Valley Community Organizations - http://sauconvalley.info/community.asp

Homepage of Hellertown - http://www.hellertown.com

Hellertown Area Library - http://www.hellertownlibrary.org

Lost River Caverns - http://www.lostcave.com/index.htm

Dewey Fire Company No. 1 - http://www.deweyfireco.org

Hellertown Sportsmens' Association - http://www.hellertownsportsmen.com

Saucon Valley Conservancy - http://hometown.aol.com/sauconvalleycons

Citizens Coalition of Lower Saucon - http://www.permegear.com/ccls/index.html

Saucon Valley Lions - http://sauconvalleylions.org

Wikipedia Hellertown Page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellertown,_Pennsylvania

The Hellertown Molls - http://www.angelfire.com/pa5/mollpa/1850s.html

Dimmicks Hellertown History - http://www.dimmicks.com/history/hellertown.htm

Hurricane Ivan Links:

Hurricane Ivan Impact Studies - http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/hurricanes/ivan/photos

National Weather Service - National Hurricane Center / Tropical Prediction Center - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml

Storm 2004 Hurricane Season: Ivan - http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/weather/special/storm/2004/atlantic/ivan/news.html

NASA Facilities Weather - Ivan - http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/frances.html

Future Updates (Important News!)

The damage has been repaired and Depot Street and the Pool are now open for business!  I have been following the demolition and reconstruction projects and am nearly done with a new web page called "Hellertown Rebuilds!"  Please check back soon for the link to the new page!

Questions or Comments?

Please know that I take no pleasure at all in the destruction caused by this hurricane.  This page is here simply to show you what happened in Hellertown, not to sensationalize it.  I am very saddened by the negative impact this storm had on our community.

Do you have pictures of Hurricane Ivan's aftermath (in Hellertown or nearby) that you would like to share?  I have limited disk space but I would be happy to add any pictures of Hellertown that you have to this page.  The credit and rights are yours, of course and I would be glad to add whatever comments you prefer.  Please e-mail me if you would like to contribute a picture or two.  Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or comments about the content or purpose of this web page.

Saucon Creek Watershed Committee

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This page was last modified on September 1, 2006.  Copyright 2006, Wayne L. Boucon